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Injury Concerns For Evatt

Wanderers battle back for a point but suffer trio of injury blows

5 April 2022

Wanderers were left counting the cost of a triple injury blow as they fought back to secure a 1-1 draw with Portsmouth.

Ian Evatt’s men dug deep to mount a second successful comeback in the space of four days as Kieran Sadlier’s 76th-minute penalty kept Wanderers level on points with 10th-placed Pompey.

But Evatt admitted his side hadn’t been at their best on a night that also saw them lose the services of skipper Ricardo Santos, top scorer Dapo Afolayan, and January signing Kyle Dempsey.

“We were disappointed with our performance. I don’t think we were anything like we can be,” admitted the Wanderers’ boss.

Evatt handshake Bazunu.jpg

“We looked like we lacked a bit of zip, a bit of zest and some energy and intensity and we were a bit loose with some of our play.

“We had some moment and their keeper made one or two really good saves and if you can’t win, you don’t lose, which is really important, but we’re better than that.

“More concerning is the injuries, really. That really disrupted our momentum in the second half.

“Rico is huge for us and Kyle and Dapo as well. That’s three hamstrings.

“We’ll get them scanned and looked at and see where we’re at.

“It’s been a long season and since January we’ve played a lot of football. Rico and Dapo in particular have played a lot of football so whether that’s a fatigue issue I don’t know.

“But we’ll get them looked at and see where we’re at with it.

“It was a frustrating evening, but I’m pleased we didn’t get beat. Earlier in the season we would have probably lost that game and that’s an improvement as well.

“When we’ve not been at our best we’ve given games away. Tonight we didn’t give it away.”

Sadlier penalty.jpg

Wanderers trailed to a 50th-minute strike from Aiden O’Brien but as at Wigan last Saturday hit back to earn some reward.

It’s unlikely to be enough to keep any slim play-off hopes alive but Evatt believes the foundations are in place to launch a concerted promotion push next season.

“There are lots of things to improve on. But we’re not far away. I’m really disappointed that we have drawn 1-1 with Portsmouth,” he added.

“If you’d said that to anybody two years ago they’d have probably snatched your hand off, so we have to have some perspective.

“But we want to be better. We want to progress up this division.

“It doesn’t look like we will this season but we have to make sure we carry momentum into next season and finish strongly.

“You need to have some stability and build a structure and a foundation to be able to have success from and I think that’s what’ve done this season.

“It’s probably not to be for this year, but very hopeful for next.”


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