Elias Kachunga comes into the Wanderers line-up at Charlton tonight tasked with restoring a missing spark in front of goal.
The versatile striker will make his first league start at The Valley, replacing the injured Lloyd Isgrove, as Ian Evatt’s side look to rediscover a clinical edge which has been missing in their last few outings.
Bolton have failed to score in four of their last five games – and while the plaudits continue to pour in over the standard of their football, and the quality of chances they are creating, Evatt hopes former Huddersfield Town man Kachunga will prove to be the missing ingredient.
“Football is a funny old game and things can change quickly. With Lloyd missing then Kacha has an opportunity, he has to take it,” he told The Bolton News.
“Elias has that final third detail. The other lads have been doing well on that front too.
“I think our expected goals is highest, or one of the highest, in the division.
“It shows not only are we an attractive team to watch, playing out from the back, the beautiful game how is should be played, in my opinion. But we carry a threat as well.”
Although he has been playing catch-up on fitness since his arrival in August, Kachunga’s statistics already suggest a player who could make a difference to Bolton’s attack.
“He has a good pedigree, first and foremost he is a good person and a good character,” Evatt said. “The lads like him, he’s a positive person.
“Football throws these things at you and one man’s misfortune is another’s opportunity. He has to come in and take it.
“He will get chances but he does create as well. We have seen in the short time he has been here the calmness to pass it back to Alex for the equaliser against MK, the lay-off for Sarce at Lincoln, it’s the effect he can have.”
Evatt is backing the likes of Eoin Doyle and Dapo Afolayan to rediscover their scoring touch – but he says the players also have to grasp the responsibility to change a game in Bolton’s favour.
“Over the weekend I said to a few people that we haven’t scored in four of the last five games but it doesn’t feel like that because we are creating so much,” he said.
“But that isn’t acceptable either and we have to take them.
“We are quick enough to point the finger at the defensive lads when we are not keeping clean sheets. That was a bugbear for me as a centre-half for 21 years.
“The amount of times we’d have cut eyes, cut heads – you had Joel get a broken nose on Saturday. But forwards miss chances and it is OK. Nothing gets said.
“Centre-back makes a mistake and you lose 1-0 and they get terrorised.
“Not only do they get paid the most but they get away with making mistakes as well. But that’s the centre-half in me talking. We’ll back our forwards and final third players to take the opportunities and when they do the team will get good results.”