Mixed Emotions For Wanderers' Boss

Ian Evatt admitted to mixed emotions after sharing the points with league leaders Plymouth.

Argyle have tasted defeat only three times in the league this season in taking control of the League One promotion race.

But they were fortunate to leave the University of Bolton Stadium without a further dent in that record after Wanderers did everything but find a winner in an entertaining 0-0 draw.

Evatt’s men had a handful of excellent chances to hand Argyle only a second league defeat since mid-August with Michael Cooper saving superbly from Jon Dadi Bodvarsson and Elias Kachunga hitting a post late on from the best of them.

But the Wanderers’ boss rued the lack of the killer instinct as his side missed an opportunity to move up a place to fourth in the table.

“It’s mixed emotions, really,” said Evatt. “They’re a fantastic team and Steven (Schumacher) has done a great job. But I thought the way we played was outstanding.

“As performances go against a very good team, a very well coached team and a team that has been flying really high, I think we completely controlled and dominated it and had the majority of the good chances.

“I feel like we’ve left them off the hook today. I felt that was a great opportunity to win the game.

“The frustrating thing is when we’ve sniffed blood again we’ve just not got the goal we deserved.

“In these tight games and top-of-the-table clashes you don’t really get loads of chances and opportunities.

“It’s about moments but today that was different. I think we had four or five significant chances we really should have taken.

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“I thought it was a wonderful advert for League One football. I don’t think 0-0 does the game justice. I think it was an excellent game and I think we were the biggest contributors to that game.

“I’ve said to the players I’m proud of the way they played but when you smell blood you have to start killing these teams off.

“It definitely feels like one that’s got away today, and it’s felt like that a few times this season.”

Wanderers are now unbeaten in five league games and have tasted defeat just once in 11 matches in all competitions.

A third successive clean sheet at the Unibol means the Whites still have the best home defensive record in the division.

And after making it four points from two games against top-six sides Barnsley and Plymouth to kick off 2023, Evatt believes his team is still heading in the right direction as they look to tie down at least a play-off place.

“That’s one defeat in the last 11 games and we were winning that game with 10 minutes to go,” he added.

“We’re doing a lot of things right. It’s just finding a way to get over the line when you’re having that much dominance and having that many chances.

“In terms of the process of what we’re trying to do and performance levels, the last two performances against two very good teams have been outstanding.

“If we play like that and we play like we did on Monday for the rest of the season we’re not going to be far away.”

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