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Bolton Nuts » BWFC » Bolton Wanderers News » Ian Evatt on new role for West Ham loanee Dapo Afolayan

Ian Evatt on new role for West Ham loanee Dapo Afolayan

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Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse

Wanderers put Dapo Afolayan front and centre against Scunthorpe United – and Ian Evatt is delighted with the results.

The West Ham loanee has played primarily on the left side of attack since arriving at the UniBol on deadline day but was moved to a role behind centre-forward Eoin Doyle on Tuesday night.

“I just thought that Dapo likes to go and hunt the ball and dribble and because Scunthorpe were 4-4-2 we thought that having Dapo as the extra player in midfield as the number 10 that he could really cause problems and create things from that position,” Evatt explained.

“He’s improving with every game, he’s getting fitter and stronger. He’s still a young player and people can’t forget that. We’ve got great options all over the pitch.”

Bringing the likes of Afolayan and Marcus Maddison to the club in the January window gave Evatt some more flexible attacking options.

And the Bolton boss said their arrival also had a positive effect on key players such as Antoni Sarcevic and Eoin Doyle, who had been under big pressure to spark a promotion push at that stage of the campaign.

“It is good because it’s took some of the strain off Doyle and Sarcevic because those two being the big names in the team at the start of the season were carrying too much weight and expectation and they need to share it about,” he said.

“They’re not miracle workers. They’re excellent footballers and it’s nice for them more than anyone else to see some quality around them all over the squad now. It not only perked me up after January but it’s perked the team up because they can see what we’ve got in training, they can see what we’ve got on the bench, they can see what we’ve got in the stands, and it’s a happy group.

“But we’re not going to be happy until we’ve finished as strongly as we want to finish. Until then we’re going to keep working our socks off to get this club where it needs to be.”

Sarcevic scored after his second-half arrival as a substitute in the Scunthorpe game and is only recently back in contention after four weeks out injured.

Evatt admits his club captain has his work cut out getting back into a midfield spot with George Thomason, MJ Williams and Kieran Lee all in good recent form.

“Of course he has, but it’s the luxury that I’ve got at the moment that when they’re all at it and playing well and fit and in one piece, it’s difficult and that’s where it’s down to me as a manager to pick the right ones for the right games, make changes at the right times, and get us over the line for victories and we’ve done that of late. But we’re not getting carried away, we’ve got lots of hard work to do. Let’s just go on to Saturday.”


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