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Night terrors: Why defeat against Derby left Evatt unable to sleep

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Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse

Night terrors: Why defeat against Derby left Evatt unable to sleep 17909833

Ian Evatt admits has been getting sleepless nights over how to turn performances into points at Wanderers.

After feeling defeat at Derby County was unjust before the international break, the Bolton boss was forced into a spot of soul searching in the early hours of the following morning.

Kane Wilson’s 78th minute header had felt like a pivotal moment, handing a significant advantage to the Rams in the race for second spot.

And for Evatt, the question of what more could be done after a performance he had felt largely pleased with at Pride Park.

“I didn’t sleep a wink that night,” he said. “I found myself going through so many emotions – how was it so unfair that we played so well and didn’t get anything from the game? Looking back at decisions, the set play, the weak spot in our system and where it landed. All I found myself doing was looking for excuses.

“About 3am I gave myself a slap around the chops and said I need to stop that. We just need to be better, to improve again.

“If that means we have to take more of our chances, because we are getting there so often, then we have to be more ruthless and clinical.

“It is hard to be critical of a team that has scored well over 100 goals now and is up there with the leading scorers in the country. But I think we can and should do better.

“We have done a lot of work this week surrounding that, and other parts of the game we need to brush up on, but in general I’ve felt our performances over the last few weeks have been excellent.

“The Wigan and Derby game we didn’t get what we deserved but that is football. Over the last seven games hopefully we will get what we deserve.”

That Derby defeat cut Bolton four points adrift in third place and also meant Peterborough United and Barnsley could draw level on points if they won their game in hand.

But last Saturday defeat for Paul Warne’s side against Northampton Town proved a welcome surprise, giving Bolton – alongside Peterborough and Barnsley – some real incentive heading into the Easter weekend.

“I didn’t think it was over and I have been really encouraged by our performances of late,” Evatt added, as his side prepared to meet Stevenage at the Lamex Stadium on Good Friday. “We probably haven’t got the points we’d warranted from those performances, but we believe that if we keep playing like that the results will come.

“There will still be ups and downs, twists and turns. We know the time is running out and it pretty much has to be now but I am pleased with where the players are at, I have for a while now, and it hasn’t been easy having some of the key ones away and only getting them back now. But we have to play the game and respect whatever nation they are called up for.

“They are ready to go, and they know what is needed.”


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