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Mansfield 2 Bolton 3 - Ian Evatt's post-match reaction

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Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse

Ian Evatt praised Wanderers’ bravery at Mansfield after the battled back from a two-goal deficit to snatch a priceless win at Field Mill.

Declan John and Arthur Gnahoua scored either side of a Mal Benning own goal to complete a stunning comeback in the final 11 minutes.

“I am over the moon for the players,” Evatt said. “I have really felt a change of dynamic and spirit on and off the pitch. The club seems a different one to the one I first joined.

“I think we deserved more first half, we should have been in front. Second half they put a lot into the first 20 minutes and Matt made the error for the goal and we lost a bit of confidence.

“But after we got a goal we went for the throat and didn’t let up. The boys that came off the bench showed a tremendous attitude and they deserved that win, no doubt about it.

Winning goalscorer Gnahoua came off the bench seconds before Mansfield scored their second goal of the night – seemingly heading for three points.

Once again, however, Wanderers came strong at the bitter end, not only dragging themselves level but going on to claim all three points.

“Arthur deserved that,” Evatt said. “He did the same thing at Exeter when he came on.

“We have got players who can come on and make an impact now, whereas I haven’t had it all season.

“It’s not the first time this has happened. We’ve done that at Carlisle and we did it in the home game where we were 1-0 down to the last minute and Sarce scored.

“Today, this is everything that we’re not really, the pitch is difficult and heavy, awful conditions. We want to play attractive football but sometimes you have to dig and fight and the most pleasing thing tonight is the two centre backs were excellent as were the whole back four. MJ in front, Kieran Lee just out of quarantine ran his socks off and the whole group just put an amazing shift in. They deserved the three points.”

Evatt also had some words of praise for two of his recent signings, Declan John and Kieran Lee, who were two of the driving forces behind the Mansfield win, “Dec has got excellent quality,” he said.” We missed him when he got injured when he first came in but he will just get better and better, they all will. That’s why we have to be careful with players like Kieran Lee, we can’t break them by putting them through 90 minutes right now and getting them over-fatigued.

“Kieran is a fantastic player, there’s no two ways about it. I thought him and MJ were excellent and we’ve got George who was unfortunate to come out of the team after a brilliant performance on Saturday, but he’s a young player and playing relentlessly, Saturday-Tuesday, Saturday-Wednesday-Saturday, is going to be tough for him, but George is going to be a massive player for this football club and will be for the future games this season. I’ve got an embarrassment of riches at the moment and long may that continue.”


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