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Bolton Nuts » BWFC » Bolton Wanderers News » Ian Evatt voices road rage over timing of Mansfield and Southend double header

Ian Evatt voices road rage over timing of Mansfield and Southend double header

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Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse

Wanderers have been left fuming by the EFL’s insistence that they play at Mansfield Town on Wednesday evening – just three days before a 500-mile round trip to Southend United.

Ian Evatt has revealed that the club requested to play the rearranged game at Field Mill on Tuesday night to give them time to recuperate before hitting the road again to Roots Hall at the weekend.

Bolton have twice been frustrated by late postponements at Mansfield but despite Evatt’s insistence after the last trip – rained off just 90 minutes before kick-off – that the rescheduled game would be done on their terms, the league have put their foot down in an effort to avoid a backlog.

“I find it astonishing that we have two games called off and then they get to choose when we play what day and what time, when we’ve got Southend to travel to on Saturday,” said Evatt, looking ahead to the next two fixtures after a 1-0 win against Stevenage. “They’ve got one more day recovery time, we’ve got one less, I don’t really know how that works to be honest, but I’m sure Nigel (Clough) will be happy with that.

“They asked us about playing Wednesday, we said no, we wanted to play Tuesday because of the journey on Saturday and the EFL overruled us, so I find it astonishing that we have two games called off on Tuesdays when we’ve travelled all that way because of their unsuitable pitch and yet we get one day recovery time less and a massive, long journey because they want to play on Wednesday.

“They did it because apparently Colchester’s pitch was frozen, so they wanted to change that game to Sunday, which in turn they wanted to move ours to Wednesday. I just find it astonishing after we have been to Mansfield twice, and they’ve called it off twice because of their unsuitable pitch, we’re the ones that are being punished. It just doesn’t make any sense.”

Asked if he was confident the latest game would go ahead, Evatt added: “Let’s see. I’m sure they’ll work really hard and everything else, so we’ll see.”

Wanderers held on with 10 men against Stevenage on Saturday to climb into 13th spot in League Two.

After Declan John had opened the scoring early on, Bolton looked capable of scoring more. In the end, however, they were left biting their fingernails after MJ Williams’ dismissal.

Evatt says his side should have capitalised on some of the good football they produced in the opening half an hour.

“I believe that when we play that way, we can be the best team in the division,” he said. “I certainly think we play the best football, but we have to have that ruthless edge, we can’t just be happy with going in front.

“We have to want more and need more and demand more and once we get that mentality and mindset of foot on the gas, pedal to the metal constantly until we get ourselves safe in the game, then we’re going to cause ourselves problems like you’ve seen today.”


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