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How Ryan Delaney has impressed Ian Evatt while out of Wanderers side

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Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse

Ryan Delaney’s commitment to the Wanderers cause despite his lack of game time has been praised by Ian Evatt.

The centre half was back on the bench for the Whites in the win at Salford on Tuesday night for his first appearance in a matchday squad since being sent off at Tranmere on January 23.

The Irishman had largely impressed when called upon by Evatt but has not been able to force his way back into the side due to the form of Ricardo Santos and Alex Baptiste at the heart of the Wanderers defence.

And with the Bolton boss liking to have attacking options on his bench it was only an injury concern that led to Delaney being among the replacements against the Ammies in midweek.

“I can’t speak highly enough of Ryan,” Evatt said.

“I think his attitude and application as a football player is first class.

“He’s a wonderful person as well and he understands the situation, he understands predominantly as you can see with people moaning with me about goalkeepers and defenders, I like to have attacking options on the bench and not defenders.

“Ryan is pretty much fixated into one position, he’s a centre-back and that’s it.

“Harry Brockbank can play right back, left back, centre back if called upon and it gives me more options.

“Obviously you don’t really know what goes on in terms of how people are feeling, who has slight niggles, injuries, kicks etc and that sometimes will alter whether I need to put certain people on the bench just in case.

“That was the case on Tuesday but thankfully everyone came through in one piece and 100 per cent.”

While Evatt may like to use attacking options off the bench to close out games, that doesn’t mean they don’t get stuck in defensively as well.

One block from Nathan Delfouneso in the win at Salford summed up the current mood in the camp, according to the Bolton boss.

“That isn’t something that we’ve seen Nathan do too often, but we’ve got a buy in from all the players now and they understand the responsibility to the team, both with and without the ball and to see Nathan do that was outstanding.” Evatt said.

“The non-playing lads, the ones that were substitutes or the ones that travelled with the team, celebrated that tackle like a goal.

“The noise was great and that’s how important it is and you need everybody, including the wide forward players to make those challenges to enable the team to perform and to succeed.”


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