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Evatt: Let's Play It Cool

Boss wants measured approach to bring best out of his team on derby day

15 October 2021

Ian Evatt is calling for cool heads to deal with the red-hot atmosphere of derby day and deliver the points.

A crowd of around 20,000 is expected at the University of Bolton Stadium on Saturday when Wanderers take on local rivals Wigan Athletic.

Evatt wants his team to feed off the fervour of the home fans but also stay firmly focused on the performance needed to beat a Wigan side sitting third in the table.

“We have to use that to our advantage. It’s a game we want to win for ourselves and for the fans,” said the Wanderers’ boss.

“Our performance levels can help the crowd get behind us and hopefully if we can marry the two together it’s a good result come the end of Saturday.

Ian Evatt applause.jpg

“I played in some good derbies, some good games, always emotional encounters and always high intensity and high tempo.

“Obviously, there are high demands from the supporters and we have to stay cool, calm and composed and look after our own performance and hopefully that’s good enough to get us the three points.

“We are a team that needs to be brave, but cool, calm and composed in possession.

“Hopefully the players will take that on board and listen to our experiences as managers and coaches and make sure that we are channelling that emotion the right way.

“The saying is ‘we want fire in our bellies and ice in our veins’ and that’s how we have to play.

“We have to be calm and composed. That’s the way we play football.”

Wanderers’ brand of football has served them well in the opening months of the campaign, with Evatt’s men tasting defeat just once in their opening five home league games.

Evatt clap players.jpg

The Whites sit eighth in the League One table following a 1-0 defeat to Sheffield Wednesday last weekend.

But after passing up opportunities to leave Hillsborough with some reward, Evatt wants a more ruthless approach against the Latics to reflect his side’s progress and put some more points on the board.

“I’ve seen loads of good things from our team,” added Evatt, who will be without right-back Gethin Jones due to injury and suspension.

“I think the team has improved no end from the start of the season and is continuing to improve.

“The things we’d like to see differently is being more clinical in front of goal. But if we keep creating those chances I’m of the firm belief they will start to go in.

“And once they do, we are going to be a handful for anybody.

“We do see ourselves as equal to everybody in this league. We feel like we are a very good team but the proof is in the pudding and we need to back up these performances with strong results.”

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


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