Evatt | Never Stop Believing

Evatt reaction Barnsley

Ian Evatt called on his players to keep believing in themselves after a stunning fightback at Oakwell took Wanderers into the automatic promotion places, writes Pete Oliver.

The Whites overturned a two-goal deficit at top-two rivals Barnsley to draw 2-2 and claim the point that lifted them above Derby County into second place in League One.

After Victor Adeboyejo had started the fightback with his 10th goal of the season, an inspired Wanderers missed a handful of chances before getting themselves level through Randell Williams’ injury-time leveller.

Evatt felt his side had enough opportunities to have won a thrilling encounter but praised the character of his players and urged them to take extra belief from a performance that enhance their promotion hopes.

“Great credit to the players,” said the Wanderers’ boss. “We got the first one back and then it's just a matter of time. The downside is we missed too many gilt-edged opportunities because some of the play was exceptional.

“We missed chance after chance after chance but they kept the faith and belief to keep going and we got at least what we deserved.

Fans celebrate Barnsley

“These boys have unbelievable character and unbelievable strength of togetherness. They are a really talented bunch and I don't think even they believe how good they are. We need to get them believing because when they play like that, they batter teams into submission. When they get it right, we are a tough team to stop.

“There aren't many teams that can come second half and dominate Barnsley like that. It's the least we deserved, but a little bit of me is frustrated that we didn't win the game. I don't think anyone would have argued with that either.

“The fans were amazing in the second half. There were some frustrations from them in the first half and rightly so, because we got ourselves into the game and almost gave it away. Then it was amazing to come back from 2-0 down and the only frustration for me is that we should have won that game.”

Williams’ 98th-minute goal, rammed home after a Josh Sheehan penalty had been saved, came after the Whites had peppered Barnsley’s goal as Wanderers tried to become only the second team to inflict a league defeat on the Yorkshiremen since November.

The result kept Barnsley three points back in fourth in the League One table, with Wanderers now splitting Derby and Portsmouth with the top three all having played 36 games.

“We’re in second place and the hard work starts now,” Evatt added. “There are lots of points to play for, lots of games to go, lots of twists and turns.

“Everyone is on a level playing field now with the games. There are 10 games to go, 30 points to play for. Teams still have to play each other and we've got to go to Derby next week.

“But the Exeter game on Saturday counts the same as that one and the same as today, so we just have to focus on the next challenge. And if we can do the things we've done tonight consistently, and what I've seen in the last two games, I think we'll be OK.”

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