Ian Evatt revealed that his half-time rocket did the trick for Wanderers as they dumped Championship side Barnsley out of the Carabao Cup on penalties.
The Bolton boss was not happy with what he saw in the first 45 minutes as the visitors forged the better opportunities in front of goal.
Victor Adeboyejo and Clarke Oduor both went close for the Tykes before the Whites stabilised – eventually going on to win 5-4 in the shootout after a much-improved second half performance.
“It was a difficult game on paper, they finished fifth in the Championship last season and to do that you have got to be a very good team,” Evatt said after the game.
“I thought first half we were off the pace, we didn’t compete, and that is the basics of football, we gave them too much respect and they dominated. I think we were lucky to be at 0-0.
“But second half it was a completely different performance, I think we were aggressive and we put it on them, so to speak.
“We want to be a possession-based team but sometimes you just have to play what the game gives you. The bare minimum is to compete, be aggressive and on the front foot.
“Second half we did that, dominated it, and deserved the win.”
Wanderers had not created many clear-cut chances in the first half kept Barnsley pinned back after the break following the arrival of Amadou Bakayoko off the bench.
“When Baka came on in particular it gave us a spark,” Evatt explained. “They were happy to leave three versus three at the back and when you bring a player on who is able to physically dominate centre-backs it gave us that chance to get up the pitch. He was a huge threat for us.
“The boys did well, defensively, and we kind of worked it out, snuffed them out, and it wasn’t pretty at times but it was aggressive and on the front foot. We played at a high tempo.”
Bakayoko, Antoni Sarcevic, Lloyd Isgrove and Elias Kachunga all scored from the spot before Joel Dixon made a crucial save from Devante Cole, leaving Josh Sheehan to keep his nerve and send his side through.
“The penalties were great,” Evatt said. “I hope England were watching those.
“I think Chris (Markham) is trying to claim that penalty shootout like the FA one as well.
“We just said to believe in yourselves, just make a decision and do it. Even the penalties prior to last one, Joel was getting closer, so I am delighted for him on his full debut at this stadium to play like that and to save a penalty was great for him.”
Last edited by karlypants on Tue Aug 10 2021, 23:53; edited 1 time in total