Evatt | It's Not Over

Evatt point Derby

Ian Evatt insists Wanderers’ automatic promotion hopes are far from over after losing out to top-two rivals Derby County, writes Pete Oliver.

Evatt’s men outplayed the Rams at Pride Park but were sunk by a 78th-minute winner from Kane Wilson.

The Derby defender headed home from a corner, with a set-piece looking the hosts’ only route to goal.

That proved enough to take Derby four points clear of third-placed Wanderers with a 1-0 win as the Whites head into an international break.

But Evatt believes that gap can still be closed over the final seven games.

“Football is sometimes unfair and it feels unfair today,” said the Wanderers’ boss. “I'm really scratching my head as how we've come away from here with nothing.

“We had large spells of dominance and really controlled the game but just didn't take our moments. We had the better moments, the better chances in the game, and their keepers was arguably the man of the match for them.

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“We've lost out on the one moment in the second half where we conceded. It feels really hard. It feels harsh and we’re bitterly disappointed, but deep down I know this isn't over.

“We believe it isn't over and we'll keep calm, keep focused and we'll keep fighting until the end. This group is capable of winning seven straight games and if we do I believe will be promoted.”

Wanderers were the slicker side but saw Derby keeper Joe Wildsmith somehow keep out a close-ranger header from Jon Dadi Bodvarsson before the break before denying George Thomason with another fine stop early in the second half.

The Whites penned the hosts back for long periods and Evatt believes the quality of the performance – and backing of the fans – still bodes well for the run-in.

“It's difficult to take but I'm pleased with performance I saw today,” Evatt told Wanderers TV. “We'll keep believing, we'll keep focused, keep calm and carry on. I believe in this team and our fans who've seen that game today should believe in us too.

“I thought our fans were amazing. They backed us and they clapped us off at the end which shows, in terms of the performance. we couldn't have given much more.

“We just didn't take the moments. There is an unjust feel about it but this isn't over. I know it's not over and we'll keep pushing and keep fighting. We looked like a team in form, we're playing like a team in form, and I believe if we keep going we'll be okay. There's a long way to go.”

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