Evatt Aims To Keep Climbing

Ian Evatt is determined not to let Wanderers’ climb back up the league ladder be de-railed by their FA Cup exit.

Wanderers head to Wycombe on Saturday seeking a positive response to Wednesday night’s cup loss at Stockport County.

And the Whites’ boss is fully focused on efforts to build on the good work that has gone in to transferring a side threatened with relegation from the Football League to one capable of moving back to the edge of the League One play-off race this weekend.

“Football is so emotional you can get embroiled in one-off encounters,” said Evatt ahead of the trip to Adams Park to face a Wycombe side sitting fourth in the table but seeking to end a run of three successive home defeats.

“Sometimes the most difficult thing is to have perspective and think about what you’ve achieved to date.

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“We have come a long way. I think this stage last season we were 20th in League Two. We’re now 11th in League One.

“That doesn’t make Wednesday night acceptable or right. I’ve got to stress that.

“It was very poor and we have to be better. But we also need some perspective of where we’ve come from and what we’re trying to do here.

“We’re developing the club on and off the pitch every day, trying to move forwards every day, and sometimes we’re going to have knocks and we’re going to hit bumps in the road.

“But it’s about how we re-stabilise and go again and that’s certainly something we’re trying to do.

“We have to now re-focus and make sure our league campaign takes off again.

“We had a good result against Crewe in the last league fixture and we have to make sure we go to Wycombe and give a better account of ourselves than we did on Wednesday night.

“Wycombe are going to challenge everything we’ve struggled against recently with physical direct teams and not standing up to be counted.

“That’s going to be tested on Saturday and we have to be better at it.”

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Wycombe – under Evatt’s former QPR team-mate and long-serving boss Gareth Ainsworth – won their first six home games of the season following relegation from the Championship before hitting their current losing streak, which included a mid-week FA Cup defeat to Hartlepool.

Both sides will therefore be looking to bounce back, with Evatt – who will give a late fitness check to midfielder MJ Williams and striker Eoin Doyle – relishing the fight to get Wanderers quickly back on track.

“Even in my short tenue here we’ve faced some challenging times and some difficult times but we’ve always come up with the answers,” he added.

“We all have to take responsibility but I’m the leader of the pack so, fundamentally, it falls on my shoulders.

“I have no issue with taking responsibility for it and I will and I’ll make sure that we’re better.

“I thrive on it and I love, more than anything else, being written off. I love it because it gives me an opportunity to prove people wrong.

“We did that last year and we’re ready to do it again last year.”

To watch the manager's full pre-match interview, click HERE

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