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Evatt Ready For Re-Set

Boss looking to greater squad strength to propel Wanderers back up the table

23 December 2021

Ian Evatt is eyeing a new start in the new year to get Wanderers moving back up the League One table.

Wanderers have been be-calmed since the start of December with successive away defeats preceding the COVID-19 outbreak which has led to the postponement of the two fixtures either side of Christmas.

Evatt’s men are scheduled to return to action at Burton Albion next Wednesday night in what will be their final game of 2021 if they have enough available players to meet the current EFL criteria to play.

Wanderers then go to Rotherham on New Year’s Day to start the second half of the League season.

And Evatt hopes his squad – not able to return to the training ground until 27 December in an effort to curtail the number of positive COVID cases – can ultimately emerge from the enforced lay-off in a stronger position to get points on the board.

“Even though we are going through a tough time it does give you an opportunity and we have to take that,” said the Wanderers’ boss, whose squad was decimated by injuries prior to the impact of COVID which has seen 14 players and four staff members sent into isolation.

Bakayoko goal celebration.jpg

“We want to re-set and make sure we get everyone back in full health and up to speed as quickly and possible and then progress ourselves up this division again.

“We did it last season. We had a fantastic January and then we got real momentum and we could do that again. There’s no reason why not.

“We’ve got some good fixtures coming up. We just need everyone fully fit, available and ready to go and with the January window opening we can strengthen some of the squad as well.”

Evatt couldn’t fill Wanderers’ bench at the height of the injury crisis with up to eight senior players sidelined at one point.

That picture has improved with Amadou Bakayoko the latest to return to fitness following the return of MJ Williams and Harry Brockbank at Accrington Stanley in Wanderers’ last game at Accrington Stanley on 11 December.

It remains to be seen who will be available for selection at Burton – whose Boxing Day game against Sheffield Wednesday has also been postponed.

But beyond that, Evatt is looking to increase his options with some activity in the January transfer window.

“We will never put the club at risk and we will always try and be smart with who we bring in our recruitment policies,” added the Whites’ boss, whose side is currently 15th in League One but only four points outside the top-10 following last season’s second-half surge which secured promotion.

“But we have some good options. Hopefully they are achievable and we can get some over the line.”

To watch the manager give a squad up-date and the latest from the Wanderers' camp, click HERE


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