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Evatt vows not to "panic buy" as more pressure put on January sales

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karlypants

karlypants
Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse

Evatt vows not to "panic buy" as more pressure put on January sales 13223938

Wanderers have seen even more pressure piled on their January recruitment drive after losing Josh Sheehan’s services for the rest of the season.

Already facing a considerable refurbishment job in the winter window, Ian Evatt will now need to find a midfield playmaker to replace the Wales international, who has ruptured his crucial ligament.

Amadou Bakayoko has also suffered a hamstring tear, meaning he will be out of commission until the New Year.

Wanderers were already in the market for three players – understood to be a right-back, a defensive midfielder and one attacker – but may now need as many as five leave themselves with enough options for the rest of the season.

Evatt insists he will not make snap judgements but speaking after Saturday’s 1-0 defeat at Wycombe he hinted that a repeat of the previous January window, during which he added eight players including the likes of MJ Williams, Declan John, Dapo Afolayan and Kieran Lee, could be on the cards.

“We have for quite a few weeks now been speaking about January and we know there is quite a bit of maintenance which needs to be done. But it needs to be the right type and we can’t panic buy,” he said.

“Last season we had to recruit heavily, and we got it right. Now we’re hoping to get it right again.”

Sheehan has settled well at Bolton since making the summer switch from Newport County and his goal against Crewe on November 12 was his fourth of the campaign.

“He is absolutely devastated,” Evatt said. “I spoke to him Thursday night and there were tears on the phone.

“The club and the players will support him but he needs the fans to support him as well because it is a long road ahead. There will be challenging times ahead but he is a lovely kid with a great attitude and we wish him all the best.”

The injury was sustained in a challenge midway through the first half in the FA Cup defeat at Stockport, and Sheehan played on for several minutes before eventually being replaced.

He went for scans on Thursday which confirmed the worst and is now expected to be out of action for at least nine months.

“It was shock because there wasn’t a lot of swelling, wasn’t a lot of pain, but it just felt unstable,” Evatt reflected. “We were all surprised when we got the scan results back that it was a complete rupture. Sometimes when it is a rupture there’s nothing for it to catch on and cause the pain.

“I am devastated for him, and the lads are gutted. We have lost another big player there but all we can do is keep our dignity, keep our heads down and keep fighting.

“We will come out the other side of this again. And we need to keep some perspective – we’re not bottom of the league, we could be doing better but we are doing okay.”

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