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Port Vale 0-1 Bolton - Ian Evatt's verdict after crucial victory

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Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse

Ian Evatt hailed his side’s hard-fought victory at Port Vale, which extended the club’s unbeaten run to a 20-year high.

Gethin Jones’ second-half strike lifted Bolton into sixth place, just four points off the automatic promotion spots in League Two.

Wanderers are now 11 games without defeat – their longest stretch since Sam Allardyce’s side got promoted into the Premier League in 2001.

Evatt was delighted as the Whites gained revenge for a 6-3 defeat at the hands of Port Vale at the UniBol in early December.

“It was the best win of the season for me because this was everything we are not,” he said. “The pitch is awful, the weather conditions, the opposition make it scrappy and fight.

“First half we weren’t really at the races but second half we upped our game and found a way.

“There was more to some. We have some fatigued bodies out there, no doubt about it. We have had a really tough run but the fixtures are starting to open out now and we have a decent run.

“I asked them for one decent push in that second half and they gave it to me.”

Jones’ goal was ample reward for an improved performance after the break, the full-back sliding home his second goal of the campaign – and his second against Vale.

“It won’t get spoken about too much but the way we moved the ball on this surface was excellent,” he said. “That was a right back in the opposite box scoring a goal – it’s everything we work on.

“I am delighted with that.

“We were comfortable after that. The boys at the back were excellent and our line was good. Sometimes with the windy conditions the ball it can harm you.

“The ball runs out of play, you can’t put it in good areas, but I thought if anyone was going to score again, it was us.

“Zack came on and gave us some pace in behind and did well.

“I’m really pleased because this was a real test for us and how we’ve been going. On a windy day in Stoke could we get the job done? Yes we can, and it’s great.”

One down-note on the day was an injury to skipper Antoni Sarcevic, which forced him off the pitch 26 minutes in.

“I took him off after 60 minutes on Tuesday because he was feeling his hamstring but unfortunately it’s his other hamstring that has gone today,” he said.

“It’s disappointing and the one negative from the day but we’ll get him back as quickly as possible. Luckily for us we have got strength in depth to cover for him.”

Evatt also admitted his relief at seeing keeper Matt Gilks shrug off an early injury after a slip – with Wanderers again naming no replacement in the squad.

“I could just hear everybody going ‘you haven’t got a keeper on the bench’ and I was thinking it too,” he said. “But having that extra striker helps me. It’s risk and reward.

“I am not trying to reinvent the wheel or anything like that. It’s just my opinion.”


Last edited by karlypants on Sat Mar 13 2021, 23:54; edited 1 time in total


Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse

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