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Bolton Nuts » BWFC » Bolton Wanderers News » "Us against the world" - Evatt asks Bolton to stand up and fight at Mansfield

"Us against the world" - Evatt asks Bolton to stand up and fight at Mansfield

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Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse

Wanderers must head to muddy Mansfield tonight ready to roll up their sleeves and fight, says Ian Evatt, as the League Two promotion chase starts to get serious.

Ordered to replay the rescheduled game at Field Mill less than 72 hours before kick-off at Southend United on Saturday, the Whites face their most daunting double header of the campaign thus far.

But buoyed by the fact yet another red card was overturned yesterday, leaving MJ Williams free to face the Stags, plus the return to training ground of Antoni Sarcevic, Harry Brockbank, Kieran Lee and Dennis Politic, Evatt believes there is a growing feeling in the Bolton camp that they can overcome the odds and revive their play-off hopes.

“It’s us against the world and we’ll take everybody on,” he told The Bolton News.

“I have a massive amount of respect for our fans and what they do for this football club, for the board, for the staff and for the players and we are in this together.

“If we feel we are being hard done by – which I think is the case at the moment – then bring it on. We’ll come out fighting and give everything we can.”

After twice seeing the game postponed at late notice, Evatt is keeping his fingers crossed that this game will survive the wind and frost.

He had voiced frustration that the EFL had overruled Bolton’s objection to scheduling the match so close to Saturday’s 500-mile round trip to Southend – but believes his players will use the injustice to fuel their performance tonight.

“The hotel will be very pleased to see us,” he said. “I think we have kept them afloat in lockdown.

“But we’ll go there again, hopefully get the game on, and if we can perform with the right mentality then we can get the right result.

“I haven’t spoken to Nigel (Clough) or anyone from Mansfield through all this. I think Simon (Marland) did briefly when we rejected the opportunity to play the game on the Wednesday but then were told we had to.

“Other than that we’ve had no contact other than the snippets I read in the press, which were obviously aimed at Bolton and me. But we won’t take much notice of it, we’ll go there with the right attitude and try to get a result.”

Wanderers have had reason for complaint in their last two games after Marcus Maddison and then Williams were unjustly sent off, only for the decision to be overturned by the FA a few days later.

But Evatt does not directly blame referees, insisting that some should be given the opportunity to turn professional and improve standards across the board.

“They say in football that things even themselves out over the course of the season, well we’re due a great deal over this last 19 games,” he said.

“But it is part of the game. We haven’t got VAR, human error is part of the game, and we love it.

“Referees have got a really difficult job, especially when you get teams screaming for decisions and surrounding referees. There is a lot of pressure.

“The whole thing falls down, for me, with the fact that referees are not professional. We’re professional as managers and players and there is so much at stake, financially, even at this level. We need professional referees.

“They have to have the best preparation, the best training to give the best decisions on a Saturday and for me that means no more working constantly and then having to referee a game.

“There’s enough money in the game to make them professional and I am sure they would snatch it with both hands. It would only improve the game and maybe that conversation should be started.

“That’s my view, other people might differ.”


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