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'Lesson learned' - Evatt admits selection error against Harrogate

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Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse

Ian Evatt admits he “got it wrong” on team selection in the first half against Harrogate.

The Wanderers boss got caught on the hop by Harrogate’s approach at the UniBol – which left him needing to make tactical changes at half time to get back into the game.

Marcus Maddison was substituted at half time for an extra midfielder in George Thomason, and the switch paid off handsomely as goals from Kieran Lee and Eoin Doyle earned an important three points.

Evatt was pleased with Thomason’s second-half contribution and said there would be no blame laid at Maddison’s door for what was a tactical decision.

“Sometimes you have to hold your hands up and I hold my hands up today - I got it wrong first half, but I’d like to think I got it right second half and we won the game,” Evatt said after the final whistle. “Lesson learned and we’ll move on to Tuesday.

“I’m delighted with George in general and it’s really difficult being a manager in charge of this team, not because of the strength and quality we’ve got, but when you’re analysing opponents and oppositions, you try and pick a team what you think will beat what you think will happen.

“To be fair to Harrogate, they came and had a right go at us, so we needed that extra deeper midfield player and not another attacker on the pitch to help us build through the press.

“I thought it would be like the Colchester game, like the Barrow game where the team sat off and we need something creative to unlock the door and it wasn’t that type of game.

“Thankfully for half-time we managed to get them in and change it and second half we were lots better.”

Harrogate caught Bolton cold in the first half and impressed Evatt with the way they went about their business early on.

“We have to remember Harrogate’s history and they’ve done fantastically well to get into the Football League and they’re having a very good season in their first season as a Football League team,” he said. “They came here, wanted to play, and raised their energy levels.

“It is a fantastic occasion and a fantastic stadium, big team, loads of history and teams are going to do that.

“They had a right go at us first half and we didn’t cope with it but luckily for us second half we stepped it up and managed to win the game.”


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