Ian Evatt insists Wanderers’ performance in defeat at Sunderland was better than in their recent 5-2 romp at Ipswich Town.
The Bolton boss watched his side fall behind to Carl Winchester’s 17th minute goal but fail to take advantage of several good chances created thereafter to get back on level terms.
Evatt’s men have conceded first in seven of their nine outings so far this season and have scored the opening goal just once.
And though he was happy with the performance after falling behind at Sunderland, Evatt feels it is an important statistic to address.
“We do need it,” he said. “I just thought we were gaining control when we conceded that first goal.
“That was the game. Both team’s strengths are their deficiencies, if you know what I mean, because it was our full-backs and wide forwards against theirs and because we are so expansive it was toe-to-toe. The goal was conceded was very similar to Ipswich, only on the other side.
“The downside is that we didn’t take our chances. The performance was no different, in fact I’d go as far to say as the performance was better.”
Wanderers started the game in nervous fashion at the Stadium of Light, with an early poor touch by keeper Joel Dixon setting the tone.
Evatt accepts there will be mistakes on the ball because of the style of football he is asking his players to adopt.
“It is just the way we play,” he said. “And at times there are going to be nervy moments where they win the ball high up against us playing out. And that is on me, I am asking them to play that way and we are doing it to create space higher up the pitch.
“Second half when we do it well, we pinned them in and it became wave after wave.” Asked if he would have to pick up his side after a second successive defeat, Bolton’s first since last December, Evatt added: “It is human nature to say if you play like that and don’t get a result you will be disappointed.
“They can also feel how good we are and what we are doing to teams. When that changes and we get Bakayoko and Amaechi back, our final third options improve and we can make changes that are going to give us opportunities, then things will get better.
“And I don’t even think it is fine margins. Sometimes you come away and scratch your head.
“The most important thing – and it isn’t easy to do because of the result – but you have to reflect on how far we have come. Last season we were going to places like Southend and Crawley having to graft and grind, finding a way to win 1-0. This season we are braver, further down the line in development but it is still a team that is improving. Once we get those final thirds back in – Baka and Amaechi – this is a proper football team going one way.”