Evatt Expecting Changes As Whites Head To Half Way

Ian Evatt wants Wanderers to stay poised to pounce as they reach the half-way stage of the season.

The Whites sit fifth in League One as they head to the mid-way point of the campaign with Friday night’s trip to Lincoln City.

Victory at the LNER Stadium – where Lincoln are yet to lose this season – would take Wanderers to 39 points from 23 games – 13 more than the corresponding stage last season when a New Year’s Day loss at Rotherham United left Evatt’s men 16th in the table.

Wanderers also lost their following league game before launching an impressive revival that saw them finish the season in ninth place with a total of 73 points.

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And Evatt is targeting an even better return this time around as the Whites prepare for the first of two away games in four days.

“We’ve progressed and that’s what the plan was. It’s hugely important and we’re miles ahead of where we were last year,” said the Wanderers’ boss.

“I think if we can win on Friday it puts us on target to get more points than we did last year (by doubling the tally) and we ended up with a really strong second half of the season.

“We have spoken historically about how our teams have finished strongly in the second half of the season.

“We’ve got a transfer window to come where we can make a few tweaks, so I think we’re in a pretty good place.

“We want to be better, we want to be higher. We’re already kind of looking where we’ve dropped points, although I think every team can do that over the course of a season.

“We just want to concentrate on the next four or five games in particular, because they are very big ones, and give ourselves a good chance.”

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Wanderers kicked off a run of games taking in a handful of top-six rivals with Tuesday’s 0-0 draw against Derby County.

That kept the Whites in the thick of the play-off action and Evatt’s believes there will be plenty of movement in the top six as the battle for places hots up in the second half of the season.

“Things change really quickly,” he added. “You can go on a run of games which can propel you to the top end of the table or you can go on a bad run and teams below can catch you.

“This is a real tight division. Probably the top two are a little bit clear at the moment.

“But there’s a long, long way to go and a lot of football to be played.

“I do think we’re going to see some changes and we need to be in a position to make sure we take advantage of that.”

Wanderers have no fresh injury concerns as they look to complete a double over Lincoln - following a 2-0 home win at the start of October - before a Bank Holiday Monday trip to fourth-placed Barnsley.

And with defenders Ricardo Almeida Santos and Gethin Jones back in full training and in contention for a place in the squad, the Whites have welcome competition at a key stage of the campaign.

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