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Ian Evatt pondering attacking changes for key Newport clash

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Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse

Wanderers will look to freshen their attacking options in tomorrow’s promotion six-pointer at Newport County.

After watching his side fail to score for the first time in 16 games on Good Friday, Ian Evatt looks set to rotate his front four at Rodney Parade.

Lloyd Isgrove, Marcus Maddison and Zack Elbouzedi could come into the equation – with George Thomason also a possibility as an extra midfielder.

Evatt admitted some of his front four fell short of high expectations against Colchester United, prompting him to consider changes.

“If you don’t take your chances and perform, well there’s someone who is willing to come in and take your place in this squad and that is a real positive,” said the Bolton boss.

“When you look at the players who came on I think Marcus affected the game, Zack affected the game and had a good shot, they give us something different.

“We have Izzy waiting in the wings as well, so that bodes well for us.

“Nathan (Delfouneso) and Dapo (Afolayan) were not quite at the races for me (against Colchester), nor was Arthur (Gnahoua) and when two or three are off par you don’t win football matches.

“We haven’t had any passengers for a length of time now.”

Gnahoua had been starting his first game since February 9 but looks likely to make way against Newport after struggling to get into Friday’s game.

Evatt has sympathy for his winger, who has often been used from the bench in recent weeks.

“Sometimes it’s difficult for players that have been coming on as impact subs and then get thrown in from the start,” he said. “But I just think we weren’t reliable enough with the ball in the final third first half.

“Yes, we had moments, but when the space is tight, you need to be really tight with your touch.

“You need to link and move and test the back line and I just don’t feel like we did that enough, in all aspects across all 90 minutes really, not just the first half.

“I felt for the back lads because the defensive record is outstanding. We’ve just got to find solutions at the top end of the pitch.”

Despite Friday’s game ending in a note of disappointment, particularly with results around Wanderers in the table going well, Evatt expects Newport to be a very different proposition.

He has once again underlined to his players, however, the importance of making dominance in a game count.

“There was only one team trying to win the game but we didn’t break them down enough in the second half,” he said. “If we had done that in the first half then I believe we would have won comfortably. When you don’t, it allows teams to grow in stature and confidence and they gained another 10 per cent.

“We know what we could have improved but it is another game unbeaten, another clean sheet - we just need to go to Newport now and get the right result on Monday.”


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