Evatt Happy With Fast-Starting Whites

Ian Evatt dug-out

Ian Evatt hailed his fast starters as Wanderers came flying out of the blocks to make a winning start to their EFL Trophy defence.

The Whites needed less than a minute to get their group campaign up and running as Carlos Mendes Gomes hammered home a stunning first goal for the club.

And when captain Ricardo Almeida Santos headed in little more than 10 minutes later, Wanderers were well on their way to a comprehensive 3-0 win over Salford City.

“Carlos strikes a really good ball,” said Evatt. “The players were saying how much the ball moved. That’s why we brought him in. He has that X-factor in the final third and that’s the only negative tonight that he had a slight hamstring strain. Other than that, everything went pretty smoothly.

Carlos Mendes Gomes goal Salford

“We got off to a very fast start, which is always important for us. We ask the players to start fast in every game because we know if we get the first goal then it really sets it up for us.

“We did that and then we got the second and there was lots of good stuff. Again, there was some final-third details we can improve on, but you can’t really argue when you win 3-0.

“The only slight disappointment is that we didn’t show that killer instinct in the second half but the game served a purpose. We got some key minutes into players who haven’t been playing regularly.”

Midfielder Aaron Morley made the most of his return to starting duty with a clinically-taken third goal as Wanderers eased past the League Two side.

And the Whites were able to give a substitute’s outing to former Rochdale and Wolves youngster Luke Matheson, who made a Wanderers’ debut after joining the B Team this summer.

Luke Matheson debut Salford

“I’m delighted for young Luke. It was great to see him come on and show everyone what he can do. He’s an exciting prospect,” added Evatt.

“He’s on a recovery mission with his career. It was slightly halted at Wolves and he had to face a little bit of adversity and he’s come here and he’s really bought into what we’re trying to do.

“Matt Craddock has done great with him (in the B Team) and we’ve seen some really promising signs and when he came on tonight he did really well. It was great to get him some minutes.”

The victory means Wanderers go into their international break with back-to-back wins and sitting top of Group E in the Trophy with two more games to go to try and ensure their passage into the knock-out rounds of a competition they memorably won last season with a Wembley final win over Plymouth.

“It’s a long drawn-out affair, this cup competition. We have to do what we need to do in the group and then it starts to kick on throughout the season,” said Evatt, whose side still has to face Manchester United’s U21s and Stockport County.

“Fingers crossed, we can have another day at Wembley. That day was magical for everybody and why wouldn’t we want to replicate it?”

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