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💬 Evatt: We're not taking Southend clash for granted

19 February 2021

In-form Bolton Wanderers face Southend United tomorrow with manager Ian Evatt admitting his players won’t be taking things for granted in Essex.

Following successive Sky Bet League Two wins against Stevenage and Mansfield Town, Wanderers head into the game at Roots Hall in buoyant mood.

Having beaten the Shrimpers 3-0 at the University of Bolton Stadium earlier in the campaign, Wanderers make the long journey with a spring in their steps and looking for a league double.

But the Wanderers boss is guarding his troops against complacency.

“They’ve certainly got threats”, he said.

“They have got some good results so we’re not going to rest on our laurels and take it for granted. We’re going to go there full tilt and try and win the game and respect the opposition. I thought they were a much better team than what people give credit for.

"I thought even the 3-0 game here, they had a chance at 0-0 that Matt (Gilks) saved and the game could have been completely different had it gone in.

“We have to respect them which we certainly will, and go there and give the best we can to try and get three points.”

With just under half of the season remaining, Evatt is hoping that his defence, who have shone in recent weeks, can provide the bedrock for consistency as Wanderers hope to climb the league table.

He added: “First off the defence needs to stay in one piece and stay healthy. I think when defenders are playing well it normally means that you’ve got consistency with selection and they’re all available for selection, they get to know each other’s games really well.

"I’m delighted with Rico and Baps, I think they’re doing fantastically well. They really complement each other well. Declan is improving game to game and he will get better, he’s a fantastic footballer and we’re very fortunate to have him.

"Gethin is getting back to the form he was showing before his ankle injury at the start of the season.

"That’s great but we’ve got competition for places behind them too; we’ve got Ryan Delaney, we’ve got young Jacko at left-back, we’ve got Brock as the right-back. We’re in a good place and throughout the squad there’s serious competition and it’s all about pushing each other on and striving for the best and the best results. If we can do that, we’ll give ourselves an opportunity.”


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