Ian Evatt would have been happy to see Wanderers abandon their footballing principles when the conditions called for it at Plymouth.
Watching from the directors’ box because of a suspension, the Bolton boss was at a loss to explain some of the choices made on a waterlogged and wind-swept pitch at Home Park.
While Ryan Lowe’s league leaders adapted and thrived, the Whites put themselves under continual pressure by struggling to play direct towards target man Amadou Bakayoko.
And after conceding twice in the opening quarter of an hour of the game, Evatt admitted his side never gave themselves a chance of ending a losing run which now stands at three games, with no goals scored.
“Minute one in difficult conditions, we play up to Baka – which was why he was in the team - he wins a header, we almost get in with Lloyd Isgrive.
“Then two or three minutes later, we’re trying to clip it to full-backs in conditions which aren’t conducive to that.
“We are inviting pressure, set play, goal, set play, goal, then we are out of the game, it’s as simple as that.
“No matter how hard we tried second half with the opportunities - and we did have them - we just didn’t take them. We needed that next goal.”
Despite instruction seeming to come from the side of the pitch to ‘go long’ and test out the Plymouth back three, there was a reticence from Wanderers on the night that was hard to explain.
Evatt says he had set the gameplan up prior to kick off – but could not explain why it was so quickly cast aside.
“Everybody can see it,” he said. “The last place you want the ball when you’re playing in those conditions is in your half of the pitch. Work the opposition, work defenders. In those conditions, it’s conducive to defensive errors. People slip, people fall over, the bounce of the ball, the wind, just make it difficult for them.
“It might not be all nice and pretty like we want it to be, but you have to find different ways to win the game and today we did if for the first minute and then completely changed tack and tried to play out in awful conditions and it cost us dearly.”
“It comes down to individual decision making. We are against a gale force wind, wind flying in our face, they are on a high press… So just get it to our front players.
“We had good success in the first minute, we changed our mind and try and be fancy, so to speak, and then we got punished with two poorly defended set plays.
“They are not easy to defend in those conditions, so don’t give them a way into the game. We did by trying to play out in conditions which were not conducive to that.
“We don’t want to be that type of team, going forwards, we all know what type of team we are, and what type of team we want to be, but nights like this, you have to find a different way and we didn’t do it.”