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'On the agenda' - Ian Evatt addresses team's set piece weakness

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Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse

'On the agenda' - Ian Evatt addresses team's set piece weakness 12834031

Wanderers will work on improving set pieces in the lead up to the new League One campaign, Ian Evatt has confirmed.

With 12 days to go before the season curtain raiser against MK Dons at the UniBol, the Bolton boss has plans to improve his side’s efficacy at free kicks and corners.

Attacking set pieces have been somewhat of an Achilles Heel for Wanderers in the last 12 months, with goal and shot returns among the lowest in League Two last term.

According to, Wanderers registered just 118 shots from set pieces last season, ranking them 23rd in the division behind Southend United (112).

Of those, seven of their 45 goals were scored as a result of a set piece, which ranked as the lowest return alongside Colchester United and Salford City.

They were, of course, much more successful from open play – their 435 shots ranking second in League Two behind Carlisle United (451).

Evatt recognises there is scope for improvement and admits other areas of training this summer have taken precedence over set pieces.

But he also claims it could have been counter-productive to show the team’s hand too early to the MK Dons scouts in the build up to the opening weekend.

“There’s only so many days you can train,” Evatt told The Bolton News. “When you have a new garden hose and leaks start to appear, and you only have so many days to fix it, you start running out of fingers.

“The ‘set piece finger’ hasn’t gone on top of the hole yet so we still have a leak there!

“That’s on the agenda this week and next week, especially building to the first game of the season. And to be honest, there is that much opposition analysis and video analysis these days that we have to be a bit cute and smart as well, and not show our hand too early to the opposition.

“It is no good us working flat out on our set plays and then MK Dons know every single routine and everything we’ve got throughout the pre-season.

“We are keeping a few cards up our sleeve and they’ll start to come out the next couple of weeks.”


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