Evatt | Belief Even Stronger

Ian Evatt profile

Ian Evatt believes Wanderers can still shape their own destiny as they prepare to resume their promotion push, writes Pete Oliver.

The Whites return to League One action at Stevenage on Good Friday – a fortnight on from a 1-0 loss at top-two rivals Derby County.

Evatt’s men outplayed the Rams but left Pride Park empty-handed and four points adrift of Paul Warne’s side.

But while Wanderers then sat out last weekend due to international call-ups, Derby slipped up with a defeat at Northampton Town to leave the door ajar for the Whites and the rest of the chasing pack.

“I did believe immediately post-match from Derby that we were still very much in it and the way things have transpired since it still gives us that belief,” said Evatt.

“Now it's down to us to focus on ourselves and perform in the right way and that starts with a tough test on Friday. I think it's still very much in our own hands if we produce the goods because I think this league is so tough. 


"For the fans, and some of the players, to see that result would probably have given everyone a bit more belief and, at this stage, the more belief the better."
Ian Evatt

“As we've seen with other results, anybody on any given day can beat anyone, so if you can put a real good run of results together it shoots you up to where you want to be.

“We've been in the top three for a number of weeks now. There have been highs and lows and it's been tough and challenging but if anyone needed a reminder that we're still very much in it we got that last weekend.

“I was very confident of that anyway, but for the fans, and some of the players, to see that result (for Derby) would probably have given everyone a bit more belief and, at this stage, the more belief the better.

“So, take care of our own business now and don't let anyone else, or anything else, worry us. Just focus on getting as many points as possible, playing as well as we possibly can, and if we do that I believe we can get the job done.”

The Easter double-header – with seven games still to go – see Wanderers go to play-off chasing Stevenage and then host Reading on Bank Holiday Monday.

Derby, meanwhile, entertain Blackpool – another side chasing a top-six slot – before going to league leaders Portsmouth next Tuesday night.

Peterborough United are also firmly in the mix but Evatt only has eyes for Wanderers and the chance to strengthen their position with a positive result at Broadhall Way on Friday following a 3-2 home win over Boro back in October.


Wanderers huddle

“We just focus on ourselves. We can only do that at this stage and make sure we're ready for Friday to play against Stevenage,” the manager told Wanderers TV.

“For me, Steve (Evans) is one of the managers of the season, if not the manager of the season, after getting promoted from League Two and then being in and around the top six, which is extremely competitive as we know. It's been an incredible season for them and great credit to Steve and his team.

“They are a really challenging team to play against, really effective and they are extremely good at doing what they do. It will be a different test (from Derby) but a test you have to stand up to. I don't think there are any secrets. I think we know what we're going into and I'm sure Stevenage should know what they're going to face with us as well.

“At this stage of this season we are what we are and they are what they are and it’s who executes the best on the day. We have to go and perform to our maximum because if we don't, Stevenage are a team that will beat you. It's really simple, so go there play the best football we can, and hopefully that's enough.”

Wanderers will again be without the injured duo of top scorer Dion Charles and goalkeeper Nathan Baxter, while they await the return from international duty of Josh Sheehan, Eoin Toal, Gethin Jones and Zac Ashworth.

Central defender Caleb Taylor is expected to resume training this weekend following an ankle injury which has kept him out for seven games, while fellow loanee Calvin Ramsay is set to return to the Whites' squad at Stevenage following his recovery from a hamstring strain and a full week’s training.

Watch the manager’s full pre-match interview on Wanderers TV HERE

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