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'There's loads more to come' - Evatt on Wanderers' improvement at Oldham

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Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse

Ian Evatt insists Wanderers have not yet reached their potential this season despite rocketing into the top six in record time.

At the turn of February the Whites were 19th with their points tally closer to the relegation zone than the automatic promotion places.

But a run of six straight wins has transformed the mood around the UniBol and given Evatt’s men a real shot at League One football next season.

The Bolton boss believes his side used the ball more effectively at Oldham on Tuesday night than they did at home to Barrow the previous Saturday but still saw plenty of scope for improvement, particularly in a wasteful second half.

“I thought our possession on Saturday was good, it was just our final third decision making,” he said. “But I think if we’d have got an early goal, we’d have won the game comfortably.

“It’s never easy when teams give us respect and I think even tonight you’ve seen from the start of the game, I think they gave us respect and sat in a little bit.

“That’s good for us and I think we’re a good team, but I mean what I say that I do think there’s loads more to come.

“I think this is a team that can really progress and get better. It’s six or seven weeks old, there’s lots of work to be done, but improvement is certainly coming.”

Evatt asked his centre halves, Ricardo Santos and Alex Baptiste to speed the game up at Boundary Park after analysing the Barrow performance.

“I think that sometimes you need a game like Saturday to really look at what we could have done better, where we could have improved,” he said. “And if there was some criticism, it was probably the speed and tempo of passing.

“But a real difficult thing in football, and I know it from playing centre half myself, is when you’re unopposed at the back and you’ve got time, it’s really difficult to speed yourself up.

“They have to understand that the quicker they pass the ball, the more time the next player has on the ball and we spoke to Rico and Baps about at the weekend and they were certainly good today with it.”

Wanderers have also seen full-backs Gethin Jones and Declan John hit a good vein of form during the winning run.

“They are progressing and improving,” the manager said. “Gethin’s still only 25. He’s had a really good education and come through at Everton.

“He was a winger that’s converted to a right-back and that’s the way the modern game is going and the way I see the game being played.

“You want your full-backs to be able to attack with speed and pace and Gethin and Declan do that for us.”

Wanderers head to Bradford on Saturday in a meeting between the division's two in-form sides.

"It is a big game for us," Evatt said. "We'll rest the right way, prepare the right way and try to keep the run going. We know it will be a tough game because they are going well - but we are too."


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