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Evatt: Squad Can Make A Difference

Boss backs player options to help tackle a tough start

3 August 2022

Ian Evatt believes he has a squad for all occasions as Wanderers prepare for Saturday’s homecoming.

The Whites face Wycombe Wanderers at the University of Bolton Stadium on the back of last weekend’s opening-day 1-1 draw at Ipswich Town.

Evatt’s men showed great resilience to leave Portman Road with a point but the boss may dip further into his resources to try and engineer a first win and also look to progress in the Carabao Cup against Salford City next Tuesday night.

“Every game offers something completely different and we’re fortunate enough at the moment to have different players with different attributes to deal with different teams and that will be the case moving forwards,” said the Whites’ boss.

“Wycombe provide a completely different challenge to what Ipswich did, so the team will most likely be different.

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“We’ve got flexibility and fluidity within the system. Our philosophy will always remain the same but there are small tweaks and changes we can make to deal with Wycombe’s strengths and weaknesses.

“And then we’ve got the cup game next Tuesday as well, which we want to progress in.”

Evatt added: “The players know the way I feel about them. There is no wastage in that group.

“I think everybody can make a contribution and we trust them to make that contribution whenever they’re called upon. And they will be called upon this week.

“It’s a pretty challenging start. We’re going to be tested and everyone will be needed and hopefully we can keep them all in one place and ready to go.”

Wanderers have been handed a tough-looking first month, which includes six League One fixtures and possibly two League Cup ties.

But it’s a challenge Evatt is ready to embrace as he prepares his side to face a Wycombe side beaten in last season’s League One play-off final.

“We feel we’ve got as difficult a start as you can get with Sheffield Wednesday and Plymouth in there as well as Port Vale, which is never an easy place to go,” he said.

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“It’s a tough start but a good yardstick as to where we’re at.

“It’s not the be-all and end-all and we know that promotions and competitive teams aren’t decided in August. But we know we need to get off to a positive start.

“It’s great to be back home with the great amount of season tickets we’ve sold and a fantastic atmosphere and we’re really looking forward to it.

“Every game is not going to define us but we know we want to have a really positive impact on this division and that starts with performance and results.

“It was a positive result last week. We know we can improve performance-wise and let’s hope we can see that on Saturday.”

Wanderers are still missing midfielders Josh Sheehan and Lloyd Isgrove but Evatt expects the duo to make a return in the B team’s opening Central League fixture in mid-August.

But with the exception of recent arrival Eoin Toal – who is being given time to recover from an ankle knock and get up to speed with the Whites – Wanderers have no other injury absentees.


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