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Strength In Numbers

Evatt plans changes but still going strong for Liverpool trophy tie

4 October 2021

Ian Evatt will make changes but trusts whichever side he sends out to keep Wanderers on a roll.

The Whites entertain Liverpool’s U21s in a Papa John’s EFL Trophy tie on Tuesday night (KO 7pm) as they look to extend their winning start in the competition.

Evatt will give a breather to a number of the players who made it back-to-back League One wins with Saturday’s 2-1 victory over Shrewbury Town.

And the Bolton boss sees the group game against the young Reds as the ideal chance to spread the workload and allow others the chance to shine.

“There will be people rested but there are also opportunities for others and that’s the key thing to focus on,” said Evatt, whose side beat Port Vale 3-2 in their Group D opener.

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“Every day is an opportunity for a player to impress a manager, whether it’s on the training ground or on a match day.

“And tomorrow will be given an opportunity to play well and impress.

“Off the back of a tough week, with the two away journeys and then a tough physical home game, people are tired and people do need to recover.

“But we’ve got a good squad that is strong in every department, in my opinion, and people will be given opportunities to go and impress.”

Evatt has indicated that goalkeeper Matt Gilks will start behind a fully changed back four of Harry Brockbank, Will Aimson, Alex Baptiste and Liam Gordon.

There will also be a re-shuffle in front of them as Wanderers aim to tighten their grip on a top-two place and potentially secure qualification for the knock-out stages.

Striker Amadou Bakayoko may get further game-time after returning from injury as a second-half substitute against Shrewsbury.

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And others who started on the bench against the Shrews could also figure as Evatt keeps his squad match-sharp ahead of next Saturday’s trip to Sheffield Wednesday.

“This will be a strong team,” he added.

“This isn’t us putting the kids out. This is us putting out a team that is more than capable of winning a football match and doing the things we’re asking them to do.

“I trust them all and trust them all to come in and play the way we play. They are all coached the same way.

“They all know and understand what we try to do and the detail involved in that and I’m looking forward to seeing them play tomorrow night.”

Right-back Gethan Jones definitely misses the visit of the Reds – who lost their opening game 4-0 to group leaders Rochdale – with the dead leg he sustained in the first half of the weekend win over Shrewsbury.

But Evatt expects the Welshman to be fit for the visit to Hillsborough on Saturday when Wanderers will be looking to move into the play-off places.

Supporters can pay at the turnstiles for Tuesday night’s game, with home supporters housed in the Nat Lofthouse East Stand Lower. For full ticket details and how to buy in advance, click HERE


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