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Evatt's plea for 'ugly' goals at Bolton Wanderers ahead of Carlisle clash

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Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse

Wanderers don’t need to win a beauty contest to beat Carlisle United tonight, says manager Ian Evatt.

Bolton have scored a greater percentage of their goals from open play than anyone else in League Two but have hit a sticky patch in recent games, missing several gilt-edged opportunities.

With just four games to go to secure an automatic promotion spot, Evatt does not care how the ball gets into the back of the net at the UniBol tonight.

“We score fantastic goals, we don’t get many bad ones,” he said. “But I would take one going off someone’s backside at the moment, a header from a set piece, an ugly goal. We don’t score enough of them.

“They all have to step up to the plate, it isn’t just down to Eoin Doyle. The bench have done okay – Shaun has chipped in, Arthur has chipped in, Zack needs to score. It’s part of the game.

“If we are going to win games we need to outscore the opposition, so come on, let’s get our head down and score.”

Eoin Doyle has scored 17 this season, the biggest single haul of goals since Michael Ricketts grabbed 19 in the league in 2001.

But the Irishman has also squandered some big chances in the last couple of games to dent his confidence and Evatt has told the dressing room that more players have to shoulder the scoring burden.

“Eoin will take it personally that he has missed those chances and I know him really well, he will take it all on board,” he said. “He wants to be the leader of this team and he understands that when he misses chances it does affect everyone.

“But he has scored valuable goals for us this season and he will score more of them as well.

“It is not just down to him – everyone has had opportunities. Kieran had them at Newport, George had a big one on Saturday. Izzy has had chances, Nathan had chances, Dapo hasn’t scored for us yet and they have to take on board that we need more.

“Set pieces – Rico and Baps have to start getting their head on it in the opposition box.”

Carlisle’s automatic promotion chances tailed off with a poor run in February and March, which coincided with a condensed run of fixtures caused by earlier cancellations.

The Cumbrians have since corrected their course and still have designs on the play-offs despite drawing their last three.

This will be the 10th consecutive Tuesday night game that Chris Beech’s men have faced but Evatt sees nothing in the Blues’ recent displays to suggest they are flagging.

“I am definitely not counting on that,” he said. “We have been in this league long enough to know that everyone raises their game when they face Bolton, especially at the UniBol. Whatever energy they are lacking they will find on the night.

“That is fine, though. We need to prepare to beat the best Carlisle, not one that is under-performing, or being average. That is how good we need to be on Tuesday night.”


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