Ian Evatt reckoned defeat a first League One defeat of the season felt “self-inflicted” as Wanderers failed to break down a stubborn Cambridge United rear-guard.
The Whites paid the price for a poor start when they fell behind to Shilow Tracey’s 16th minute strike but then struggled to turn their vastly superior possession into meaningful opportunities.
Evatt felt the early goal allowed Cambridge to sit deep and try to protect the lead – and frustrated by some of referee Tony Nield’s decisions on the afternoon, he summed up a frustrating afternoon to the local media.
“I’m still trying to figure out how we lost it really,” he said. “I think we completely controlled and dominated the entire game, but when you concede a real poor goal like that, what you invite them to do is just camp in, not even try and attack, and make it very difficult on what is quite a tight pitch.
“We tried, we huffed and puffed and we had a couple of chances. Dapo has a big chance, but it’s self inflicted today. We haven’t been beaten by them. We’ve beaten ourselves with a lack of concentration first half and then we got frustrated with some poor officiating.
“We lost a bit of composure and discipline and just found it difficult to break them down, but we gave them that chance by conceding a real poor goal.”
Evatt reckons that Wanderers lacked patience after enjoying more than 74 per cent possession on the day.
“We were below par, but we still completely controlled the game,” he said. “They changed shape, they banked up, they sat in. Just our quality and tempo of passing wasn’t there.
“We made rash decisions, panicky decisions when we didn’t need to. It requires patience but we lost our chance to be patient by conceding a real poor goal and that gave them a leg up in the game and it gave them something to hang on to.”
Another disappointment for the Bolton boss was the poor standard of crossing, with his wide players getting into some good positions.
“I think our quality in the final third, especially crosses, were really poor,” he said. “We got ourselves into some real good positions and just didn’t put the ball in the right areas at the right times,” he said.
“Second half we increased our tempo but it starts first half. We’ve limited them to very, very little. I think probably one or two attacks first half and not many at all second half.
“They’ve taken a chance and we’ve invited them to hang on and bank up, which is always difficult against any team, no matter who you are.”