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Evatt: We're All Hurting

Boss apologises for display but doesn't forget how far team has come

16 October 2021

Ian Evatt said Wanderers must take their medicine after a derby-day beating.

A 4-0 defeat to local rivals Wigan Athletic made it a tough afternoon for Evatt’s men.

The Bolton boss apologised to the home fans after Wanderers conceded three second-half goals to suffer their heaviest defeat since a similar outcome at Leyton Orient a year ago.

But the Whites have made massive strides since that loss in east London left them 19th in League Two last October.

And Evatt doesn’t want that to be forgotten as his players lick their wounds ahead of Tuesday night’s trip to League One leaders Plymouth Argyle.

“We need to react as a group. We need to stick together. There isn’t one person at this football club that won’t be hurting tonight,” said Evatt.

Ian Evatt pensive.jpg

“It doesn’t mean we’re a bad team. We’ve suffered a really heavy defeat and a bad result against our biggest rivals.

“But we’ve done a lot of good things so far this season and this club has come a long way in a short space of time.

“Sometimes on the back of results like this you can lose sight of how far we’ve come. There are always going to be bumps in the road.

“Today we’ve hit a big one but in the face of adversity we need to come back bigger, better and stronger and hopefully we can do that on Tuesday.”

Wanderers may have midfielder Kieran Lee and left-back Declan John back for the trip to Home Park if they can shake off knocks – although Gethin Lee is facing a longer spell out with a fractured fibula.

All three were missed on Saturday as Wigan overpowered Wanderers to stay third in the table.

But Evatt didn’t hide behind team selection as he admitted all of his players were below par.

“It was humbling really. Credit to them, I thought they were excellent,” he added.

Team huddle.jpg

“We just weren’t ourselves. We looked nervous, lacked belief, lacked confidence and we’ve let a lot of people down.

“The way we play you have to have belief and bravery and I thought we were too safe, too negative, fearful at times.

“I understand it’s a big game and there are going to be nerves but that isn’t a stop sign. You’ve got to push through that

“We knew what was coming. They were no different to what we thought they were but we were completely different to have we’ve been of late.

“We weren’t good enough. There are no excuses. We have to take our medicine and say congratulations to them and make sure we react for Tuesday.

“We have an opportunity to put that right but we can only apologise to our support because we have let them down today.”

Evatt also condemned elements of crowd disorder - which included objects being thrown onto the pitch - which are being investigated by Wanderers in tandem with Greater Manchester Police. 

He said: "We take full responsibility for our performance. That wasn't good enough for where we are and how we are but we don't want to see that because the only people they are going to harm eventually is the football club.

"It's not things we want to see on a football pitch."

To watch the full post-match interview with the manager click HERE


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