Evatt Seeks Positive Reaction

Ian Evatt rallied around his players as he looks for a positive reaction to the end of Wanderers’ lengthy unbeaten run.

A 2-0 home defeat to Sheffield Wednesday – in front of an excellent crowd of just over 22,000 – brought the Whites a first loss this season and a first since March.

Evatt’s men should have led after an impressive opening half-hour but then conceded a poor opening goal following a mis-directed back-pass from skipper Ricardo Almeida Santos before the Owls followed up with a quick-fire second to take control.

But Evatt refused to point the finger and backed his team to come out fighting when they take on Aston Villa in the Carabao Cup next Tuesday night.

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“I’ll support them, back them all and we’ll go again,” said the Wanderers’ boss.

“I’m pleased with them. We’ve been on a really good run. It’s not the end of the world – even though it feels like it at the minute.

“It’s not end of season. It’s one defeat. It doesn’t feel nice but it’s how we respond now.

“You’re allowed to lose games. It’s how you react to those times that will really define us and we need to have a reaction now for Tuesday night.

“It’s a great game to come into and a great game to play in.”

Wanderers conceded their first goals in League One since the opening day of the season as they slipped out the early top-six places.

The first goal was pivotal after Conor Bradley twice went close to marking another impressive performance with an opener.

And instead Wednesday punished the Whites to become only the third team to win at the University of Bolton Stadium in 2022.

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“This is a bit of a strange feeling for us,” added Evatt.

“That’s the first game in 14 competitive games we’ve lost and only the fourth since the second week in January.

“Losing it not something we’re used to doing, which is a good thing.

“We’re disappointed with manner of it. We were very much in the game and had the big chance in the first half and then an individual mistake, which happens.

“The way we’re asking them to play, you do make mistakes and you have to react to those mistakes.

“I’m not disappointed with the mistake, that’s the way we play. It was the reaction to the mistake that I was disappointed with.

“I think it rocked us and then the second goal happened soon after.

“If you concede one, you can never concede two and especially so quickly.

“And then it’s an uphill battle. In these tight games, big games, goals make the difference and they took their chances and we didn’t take ours.”

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