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Ian Evatt questions timing of pre-Easter international window

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Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse

Ian Evatt questions timing of pre-Easter international window 17885742

Ian Evatt admits he will have some nervous moments over the international break as five of his players potentially turn out for their respective countries.

Josh Sheehan, Eoin Toal, Dion Charles, Gethin Jones and Zac Ashworth have all been called up, with each potentially facing two games before they report back to Lostock for training at the tail end of next week.

Wanderers face Stevenage away on Good Friday and then return to face Reading at home on Easter Monday.

For Jones – who was an unused substitute for Australia in their 2-0 win against Lebanon – there is a 10,000-mile flight back to the UK from Canberra to negotiate after their second World Cup qualifier on Tuesday night.

Charles has not played for Wanderers for the last eight league games, having struggled to overcome a knee injury. But as he edged closer to full fitness, Northern Ireland wanted to make their own mind up and have kept him in-camp for their away friendlies in Romania and Scotland with the possibility he could play some part, if needed.

In what has already been a campaign hit hard by injuries, Evatt hopes none of his traveling contingent pick up any further issues. But the Bolton boss also questioned the timing of the current international window and the fact that three League One games – two involving promotion rivals Derby County and Stevenage – are also taking place regardless this weekend.

“There is probably a wider topic and conversation about who puts an international window right before a Friday-Monday Easter fixture schedule,” he said. “I mean they are not making our lives very easy, are they?

“I am sounding like a spoilt Premier League manager here – but the thing is, for me, it isn’t really a level playing field.

“We are fortunate to have international players and I am extremely grateful for that. But there are loads of other teams in League One who are on the same schedule as we are who haven’t got those players, so there is an advantage there, a clear one.

“It is hard to take sometimes – but it is what it is. We have to get over it.”


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