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Bolton Nuts » BWFC » Bolton Wanderers News » Doyle leading from the front, says Evatt after Harrogate victory

Doyle leading from the front, says Evatt after Harrogate victory

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karlypants

karlypants
Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse

Eoin Doyle proved the match-winner for Wanderers once again – but Ian Evatt says there is much more to admire about the Irishman’s game than goals.

A 17th goal of the season from Doyle sealed three points against Harrogate and restored Bolton to the automatic promotion places.

But it was his all-round performance in a much-improved second half that most impressed Evatt, who reckoned his stand-in captain led by example on the day.

“Eoin had one big chance in the first half that he probably nine times out of 10 would take but didn’t take it with a good save from the keeper,” he said. “Then second half when we needed to step up, that is exactly what he did.

“He works his socks off every game and presses from the front, it is not just a nine there to score goals - he has that responsibility to counter-press as well and be the trigger for everyone one and he does that really well.”

Evatt was especially pleased that both Bolton goals against Harrogate came as a result of his attacking players hunting down and winning the ball high up in opposition territory.

Lloyd Isgrove created the first, while George Thomason’s pressing hassled a mistake out of Harrogate defender Will Smith for Doyle’s winner.

“That counter-press is massive and especially when teams are set against you, sometimes we can be more dangerous without the ball,” he said. “When we have that good reaction, and go and press the ball, we can get it high up the pitch and then cause them problems, and we did that second half.”

Evatt admitted he had to give his players a dressing down at half time after what had been a lethargic first 45 minutes.

He now hopes the message has sunk in enough for Bolton to start their next game – at Salford on Tuesday night – in a better frame of mind.

“My cardiologist would prefer me not to have to raise my voice and go mad,” he said. “But sometimes they need that and sometimes they need to see the difference.

“I have said to them after the game it is an important three points, yes, but we have to recognise the difference between first half and second half.

“First half we just weren’t at our level and second half we were.

“We were fortunate in the end to come back and win the game. Not fortunate in terms of the way the game went, but when you are so bad first half, normally the game could be gone and out of sight, a bit like Newport first half.

“Thankfully for us it was only one but second half, they came out, showed belief and character, confidence and got us the win we needed.”

Evatt also had a note of appreciation for keeper, Matt Gilks, who made a brilliant save to deny Jon Stead in the second half after a long throw from Dan Jones had caused problems in the penalty box.

“It was a massive save and it is really challenging and difficult to play against that long throw,” he said. “It is not a loopy one, it is a missile and a bullet and when they have got so many big lads and we are not really built for that type of game, it is challenging and difficult.

“The lads defended well at times but when Matt was called upon he made a big save.”

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