Evatt: We Need To Regain Our Rhythm

Ian Evatt hopes a break from League One action can help his side get back in the groove after seeing their momentum stalled by a first defeat in five games.

After successful fightbacks against Accrington and Burton Albion in their last two games, the Whites were unable to make it a hat-trick as Oxford United left the University of Bolton Stadium with a 3-1 win.

Dion Charles’ sixth goal of the season briefly hinted at a comeback as he halved Oxford’s lead with more than 20 minutes to go.

But Wanderers quickly conceded a third and Evatt admitted his side lacked the quality to overcome the effects of their recent endeavours.   

“It was third time too many to be honest,” said the Wanderers’ boss.

“This month we know we can play better. I don’t think we have quite been our fluid selves for a number of reasons.

“We looked like the energy we put into last Saturday and Tuesday kind of found us out a little bit.

“We looked like we were a step too late against a really energetic team.

“We won those last two games purely based on energy and character, not from our quality, and if we are going to be in the top six in this league we have to win games with our quality.

“In the last two games we haven’t done that and it probably goes back further than that – probably Barnsley and Forest Green; this month in general.

“We’ve got a break now from the league and now we have to focus on the Cup and make sure we work tirelessly hard to get ourselves back in a rhythm.”

An eight-game month – including a successful passage through in the Papa Johns Trophy – finally took its toll as Wanderers lost for just the second time at home in League One this season.

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But the Whites – who now turn their attention to an FA Cup first-round time at home to Barnsley next Saturday – still took 10 points from October.

And despite a below-par performance that might have been more but for some pivotal moments in both boxes against the U’s.

“We didn’t very well but we lost key moments,” Evatt added.

 “We lost the first goal and then start to rally and just before half-time Josh has a fantastic chance. If that goes in the momentum completely shifts.

“They we concede an awful second from nothing and then we get the goal and it looks like everyone is lifted and the belief has come back.

“It looks a foul on Traff (for their third goal) but we need to protect him better. Hand on heart we didn’t deserve anything. We just didn’t look like we had a spark.

“But what we have to do is still take the positives. We are still sat in the play-off positions and we know we have loads more to come.

“We know we can be loads better than we have shown so far. For now, let’s re-group and focus on next Saturday.”

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