Evatt Determined To Change Cup Run

Ian Evatt smile

Ian Evatt is eager to put the record straight and guide in-form Wanderers into the second round of the FA Cup, writes Pete Oliver.

Wanderers haven’t progressed in the Cup since winning a third-round tie in their last season as a Championship club in 2019.

Their latest chance comes against National League side Solihull Moors at the Toughsheet Community Stadium on Saturday (KO 3pm).

And with Wanderers going great guns in League One as they pursue their priority of a promotion push, Evatt wants to keep the wagon rolling with his first win as a manager in the FA Cup with either Bolton or Barrow.

“Being the manager of this football club and being a player at this football club means you are expected to win football matches."
Ian Evatt

“It's something we haven't done as yet. We want to have a good cup run and it starts here with Solihull,” said Evatt as he prepares to lead Wanderers into a fourth first-round tie.

“We want to progress. I want to progress. Financially it's fantastic for the football club and we want to do well.

“Being the manager of this football club and being a player at this football club means you are expected to win football matches and we have to embrace that pressure and that challenge no matter who the opposition.

“We are in the business of winning and Saturday is no different. We have to make sure we have that ruthless edge about this and make sure we really take it to them as we would in any of our league games.”

As well as guiding Wanderers to knock-out success in the Papa Johns Trophy last season, Evatt has twice been a promotion winner in the early years of his managerial career.

The first came with Barrow and he will re-engage with National League opposition in the shape of Moors, who are also trying to reach the EFL as they mount a promotion push of their own in the fifth tier of the English game under former Coventry, Brighton and Oxford defender Andrew Whing.

“We know it's going to be a difficult task and challenge,” added Evatt, who ended Barrow’s exile from the EFL when he led the Bluebirds up prior to joining Wanderers in July, 2020.

Mendes Gomes warm-up

“They’re a good team with a bright young manager that has good experience with some players who have played in the League. They do some good things with the ball and cause you problems if you're not at it.

“That's the thing for us, to have the right energy and the right attitude. Fundamentally it has to start with that. They are going to come here and give it everything. We have to match that everything and raise it with our quality and fingers crossed we can do that and build on the performances of last week.”

Wanderers go into the tie on the back of three successive League One wins and six wins from their last seven games across all competitions.

Evatt’s men resume their League One push at Shrewsbury Town next Tuesday night and Evatt may take the opportunity to spread the game time slightly across a squad which will welcome back Carlos Mendes Gomes after two months out with injury.

Zac Ashworth remains an injury doubt but fellow loanee Parish Maghoma is likely to be involved after getting the all-clear from parent club Brentford to play.

“We trust everybody in the team and in this squad and it's maybe a chance to look at one or two other things. But it doesn't mean to say we're taking it any less serious,” said Evatt.

“We're just making sure we manage people's load and give people the opportunity they deserve. We have a squad of players which is extremely talented and whatever team I pick I think will be strong enough to win the game.”

Tickets for Saturday’s game, priced just £10 for adults and £5 for over-65s and U18s, are still available to buy with details HERE

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