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What Ian Evatt had to say about new boy Elias Kachunga's debut

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Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse

What Ian Evatt had to say about new boy Elias Kachunga's debut 12877408

Ian Evatt hopes Elias Kachunga supplied a glimpse of the quality that he has to offer with his supporting role in Wanderers’ late equaliser against MK Dons.

The former Huddersfield Town striker came off the bench with five minutes to go to try and salvage a point after Hiram Boateng had given the visitors a 3-2 lead.

And the gamble paid off, as despite having little pre-season training behind him Kachunga produced a telling touch to set-up Alex Baptiste for a memorable leveller on the fans’ return to the UniBol.

Asked about his new signing’s role at the end, Evatt said: “It is huge. He is only 29 as well and it’s not like he is an old over-30 experienced player on his way down, which happens in football. He’s just got that composure in the final third that can find a pass in those key moments, and he did that with Alex at the end.”

Evatt also had two more of his summer signings on the scoresheet.

Josh Sheehan produced a perfect free-kick in the first half before Amadou Bakayoko drilled in Declan John’s cross for Bolton’s second on the day.

“It’s great for them to be up and running,” Evatt said. “Josh Sheehan’s free kick was a moment of magic and it’s great for Baka who I thought was excellent.”

Another debutant, George Johnston, also caught the eye in central defence despite a mistake in the build-up to MK Dons’ first.

“The first goal he probably should just get rid of the ball,” Evatt said. “But I don’t think we should be giving it him there, especially with the type of pass we gave him.

“It was a really poor goal to concede but we lifted ourselves and got ourselves in front. We’re disappointed not to win but we’ve got lots of positives from that.”

Evatt named Eoin Doyle in his starting line-up despite the Irishman’s relative lack of pre-season game time.

Last season’s top scorer has been recovering from the effects of Covid but was praised for his work-rate on the day.

“Doyler has missed the majority of pre-season and he’s ran his heart out,” the manager said. “When MK Dons are playing, the front three are vital with the pressing strategy, when to jump, when to go – it is hard work but I thought they got it spot on today and the only downside is that we didn’t punish them when we stole the ball in that area.”

Evatt looks likely to rotate his side for Tuesday night’s Carabao Cup tie against Barnsley, admitting the strength of his bench gave him scope to get back into the game against MK.

“It’s incredible and you’ve got options now all of a sudden,” he said. “We’ve got some serious options. We’ve got Rico (Ricardo Santos) unused today. We’ve got Nathan (Delfouneso) and other players in and around that.

“Ronan Darcy has been great during pre-season, we have got Brocky (Harry Brockbank), Liam Gordon. Young lads that are progressing all the time.

“It is a competitive squad. As a group, some of them will be disappointed today and I expect them to be not to play, but it’s a long old season and as we saw last season, your season isn’t defined with what happens on the first game of the season.”


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