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Bolton Nuts » BWFC » Bolton Wanderers News » Evatt wants Wanderers to find a 'Manchester City' mentality on winning run

Evatt wants Wanderers to find a 'Manchester City' mentality on winning run

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Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse

Ian Evatt wants Wanderers to take a leaf out of Manchester City’s book as they gun for promotion from League Two.

Bolton, who have won six out of their last seven games, moved into the play-off spots for the first time this season with victory against Barrow at the UniBol.

They have slowly turned around a poor start to the season to make their run to the top seven and are now just eight points behind leaders Cambridge United.

Evatt has watched the mentality developed by Pep Guardiola at Premier League pacesetters Manchester City, who racked up a 20th straight earlier the same afternoon against West Ham. Now the Bolton boss hopes to find the same sort of purpose within his own dressing room.

“We have to just concentrate on doing what we do,” he said. “You’ve seen with Man City they’re won 20 I believe consecutive games, which is incredible, but what’s driving them on? How are they staying motivated?

“We have to be the same and we have to keep motivated, keep our feet on the ground and keep striving to be better.

“I saw Pep’s interview last week, he said that my players are just hungry, they just want more, they want that air of invincibility and that’s what I want us to have. Just humble hunger and desire to go and win a football match.

“I read [Barrow caretaker boss] Rob Kelly’s interview before the game and he was spot on, there’s things in football that the opposition cannot stop you doing, which is work hard, graft, make tackles, blocks, chuck your body in the way - a work ethic. The opposition can’t stop us working hard. They can stop us with our technical qualities, but they can’t stop us doing that side of the game.

“We have got good players, and if we do that well enough, we’ll end up breaking teams down because we’ve got quality. But it’s about keeping that work ethic, keeping our feet on the ground, staying humble, and keep working hard.”

Wanderers had more than 70 per cent possession during their game against Barrow and put 14 shots in on their opponents’ goal but the breakthrough only arrived in the 93rd minute through Shaun Miller.

Evatt insisted he had faith that his players would find a way through the Cumbrians’ defence eventually.

“When you have that much possession, the opposition become fatigued and tired and it’s difficult for teams to keep their defensive shape and structure for 90 minutes,” he said.

“Just when you feel you’ve got the job done, in an instant, the game changed and that was that game. Just as they feel there’s a minute left of normal time, they’ve got the job done, someone switches off and all of a sudden, it’s game over.

“That’s what happens when it’s the weight of pressure and the constant possession and probing that my team are doing at the moment.”

Evatt was also pleased to see Antoni Sarcevic back in the starting line-up for the first time since January.

“He’s going to improve with time on the pitch, but it’s great to have him back,” he said. “He gives us something completely different, that powerful forward running.

“He had a chance in the second half and their keeper made a good save.

“We want all of our good players fit and available and Sarce is one of those.”


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