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Bolton Nuts » BWFC » Bolton Wanderers News » Match-winner Miller puts pressure on Doyle for starting spot

Match-winner Miller puts pressure on Doyle for starting spot

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Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse

Shaun Miller’s super-sub exploits at Wanderers have put major pressure on top scorer Eoin Doyle.

The former Crewe frontman grabbed an injury-time winner against Barrow on Saturday – a week after doing the same at Southend United – to put Bolton into the play-off positions for the first time this season.

And now manager Ian Evatt admits Miller’s goalscoring form gives him a decision to make in tomorrow night’s local derby at Oldham Athletic.

Miller has not started a game since November but has been in fine form since his return from a thigh injury a few weeks ago.

Latics old boy Doyle has 12 goals this season and has featured extensively for Bolton this season, playing more minutes than any outfield player other than Ricardo Santos. After being substituted he was pictured celebrating Miller’s winner on the touchline – and Evatt feels the impact player has made a case to return to the starting 11.

“That’s what we want,” he said. “ There’s no-one more pleased than Eoin Doyle for Shaun Miller and that’s the kind of unity we want. We want to stick together and come together as a group and really push forwards and all pull in the same direction and when you do that, good things happen. I’ve said to the lads good people make good things happen. The way they’re behaving on and off the pitch is excellent. I’m really proud of them all but we’ve got a long way to go - 15 more cup finals.”

Wanderers recorded three straight clean sheets in the league for the first time since gaining promotion from League One under Phil Parkinson in 2017, leaving Evatt pleased with the way his team is developing – in and out of possession.
“Clean sheets are great and Rico (Santos) and Baps (Alex Baptiste) are playing out of their skin, and Kieran (Lee) and MJ (Williams) in front, but it’s because we’re controlling games with possession that we’re limiting the opposition,” he explained.

“But also our counter-press as a team is excellent and when we give it away, the initial reaction is to go and hunt and get it back.

“Eventually, they kick it straight back to us and it becomes wave after wave after wave and that’s what’s been improving of late.

“Earlier on in the season, we’d have probably lost that game. In fact, we did – look at the Oldham home game, we lost the game in the last minute that we’ve more or less dominated because we’ve switched off, but the lads are confident at the moment.

“There is an understanding that behind all our play and attacks that we have to have a defensive structure and Rico and Baps are keeping us secure, along with MJ.

“I’m really pleased that we’ve managed to win the game late but credit to Barrow for the way they made it difficult for us.

“The pleasing thing is that we found a way to get three points and it doesn’t matter how you win and in what minute you win - as long as you win the game, and once again we’ve left it late but we got the job done.”


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