Boss Happy With Window Shopping

Aaron Collins point

Ian Evatt believes Wanderers are well equipped to continue their promotion challenge on the back of a successful transfer window, writes Pete Oliver.

The Whites took their number of 'January' acquisitions up to four with deadline day deals for forward Aaron Collins and defender Caleb Taylor.

Collins joined the Whites from Bristol Rovers on a three-and-a-half-year deal, while West Bromwich Albion centre-back Taylor became the third loan signing after Liverpool’s Calvin Ramsay and Swansea City’s Nathanael Ogbeta.

The four could all be involved when Wanderers face fifth-placed Barnsley at the Toughsheet Community Stadium with Evatt happy with the business he’s been able to do.

Caleb Taylor profile

“The aim of every transfer window is to exit stronger than we started and I believe we've done that,” said the Wanderers’ boss, who also kept together all of his senior players.

“I think we've got a really good, deep squad of players when everybody's fit and healthy. That's going to be a rarity because people pick up injuries and suspensions etc, but we have some good options and we're happy with the work we've done.

“I'm extremely grateful to the Board for the support they have given me once again and, fingers crossed, it can push us towards that line.”

Wanderers resume their League One promotion push sitting second in the table - three points behind leaders Portsmouth with three games in hand.

Calvin Ramsay signing

Evatt’s men have won six of their last seven league games and can set their sights firmly on a top-two place after seeing their defence of the Bristol Street Motors Trophy come to an at Blackpool in mid-week.

“We’re disappointed with Tuesday because that was a great opportunity to do something no team's done before,” added Evatt, who had taken his side within two wins of a return to Wembley and the chance to retain the trophy.

“We're always speaking about history and legacy and that was something we aimed to do. We lost on penalties and that can happen, but now we have our eyes on the prize.

Nathanael Ogbeta arrival

“It's all systems go and full focus. We know what's required. There are 19 league games to go, the first one of these on Saturday and we have to try and win and get as many points as we possibly can. We're going well we're in a really strong position and now it's about cementing that position and kicking on again.

“We know it's going to be tough. Barnsley are a competitor of ours. They're not far behind us in the league table so we need to put on a really strong performance to be able to win.

“Neil (Collins) has had a great start to coaching in this country so we know exactly what to expect and hopefully it will be a good game.”

Wanderers will be without captain Ricardo Almeida Santos but are hopeful the defender’s calf injury won’t mean a long-term absentee, while Eoin Toal and the returning Will Forrester will have fitness checks to see if they are available to face the Tykes in a first meeting between the clubs since last year’s play-off semi-finals.

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