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Wanderers Ready To Light Up Big Stage

Evatt planning to go toe-to-toe with early pace-setters Sunderland

24 September 2021

Ian Evatt is relishing the prospect of taking on another of the League One heavyweights.

And he insists it’s no mis-match as Wanderers head north to take on joint leaders Sunderland.

The Black Cats have won four out of four at the Stadium of Light as they look to launch a promotion bid and end a four-season stay in the third tier.

But Evatt’s men don’t intend to let Sunderland have it all their own way with Wanderers also aiming to climb back through the divisions to reclaim some of their former status.

“There’s no better stage,” insisted the Wanderers’ boss, whose side would get within a point of Sunderland with a third away success of the campaign.

“We worked very hard to get promoted from League Two last season and this is the reward – to go to places like Sunderland with 30,000 fans with a big, fantastic stadium, huge fan-base and an ex-Premier League team.

Evatt training Sept 2021.jpg

“But we are one of them also and we can’t forget that. We won’t be going there fearful.

“We will be going there to attack them and try and win the game.

“We’re going there as equals. We feel we are equals. We have to that mindset and that mentality.

“We know it’s a difficult place to go. It’s a very big club with a great fan base but we are exactly the same as that.

“We don’t go anywhere to draw and we will give it our best shot.

“We’ll go there and play our way with our identity and try and implement our game plan on them.

“And if we do that to the best of our ability we have a good chance of getting the right result.”

Eighth-placed Wanderers lost for only the second time since securing promotion at home to Rotherham last weekend.

But the Whites were on top for long periods against a side relegated from the Championship last season.

And Evatt sees the trip to Wearside as the ideal opportunity to hit back as his side aims to follow up their superb 5-2 win at Ipswich Town in their last away game.

Ian Evatt training September 2021.jpg

“I think it’s the probably best game we could have hoped for following last Saturday,” added the Bolton boss, who will have full-back Declan John fit and available after a four-match absence and around 2,000 travelling fans backing his team.

“I think it’s a game where we can go and play with freedom, play with bravery, play with confidence and hopefully get the right result.

“There are no guarantees but we’re not going there fearful whatsoever.

“They have got off to a decent start. They are a good team, there’s no doubt about that.

“Lee (Johnson) is a very experienced and very good manager and it’s going to be a tough place to go.

“But I firmly believe it’s equally a tough a game for them. I think this game will suit us – a lovely pitch, a big, open expansive stadium a bit like here.

“We can play our football and I think it will be toe-to-toe. I think that’s how it will be and those types of games at the minute seem to suit us.

“So, fingers crossed, we give a good account of ourselves and go there and try and get a win.

“Our fans have been superb home and away. We know they always travel in numbers and hopefully we’ll give them another away-day to shout about.”


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