Evatt | Nothing But Positives

Evatt applause Oxford

Ian Evatt said he would ‘take nothing but positives’ away from the Kassam Staduim after Wanderers extended their unbeaten run to stay top of League One, writes Pete Oliver.

Evatt’s men couldn’t make it nine wins in a row and seven in the league as Oxford United clung on to secure a 0-0 draw.

But the Bolton boss had no complaints about his side’s performance as they kept a seventh successive clean sheet to equal a club record which has stood for 123 years.

“We've got nothing but positives to take from tonight,” Evatt insisted after Wanderers stayed three points clear of third-placed Oxford and ahead of Portsmouth on goal difference thanks in no small part to last weekend’s 7-0 thumping of Exeter City.

Evatt Santos Oxford

“In the first half we had a lot of control, but they probably edged the chances on counter-attacks really more than anything else. I thought we completely dominated the second half against a good team. We had all the opportunities and chances but unlike Saturday, when they kind of all went in, tonight they just didn't.

“I thought we deserved to win on the balance of play, especially in the second half. I thought the goal was going to come and it was just a matter of time but whatever we hit was blocked by one of them, the keeper’s made good saves and sometimes it was poor finishing.

“But that happens.  There's nothing wrong with that point. We’re disappointed the run has come to an end but it's now down to us to start a new one. I'm delighted with the players performance, particularly in the second half when I thought they were brilliant.”

Evatt Dempsey Oxford

While Wanderers were unable to score for only the second time this season, they made sure Oxford wouldn’t collect a sixth home win of the campaign as Nathan Baxter made two top-class saves in the first half to deny Stan Mills and then keep out a wicked free-kick from Cameron Brannagan.

That guaranteed a share of the club record before the Whites came up just short in their winning quest after the break as they peppered the U’s goal right up to the last kick of the game when outstanding midfielder George Thomason was thwarted by keeper James Beadle.

“Nathan has made a couple of good saves,” added Evatt. “It’s another clean sheet and great credit to the whole team for the way we are defending at the moment and managing the ball to stop the opponents.

“The players are down and that's the standards they have set themselves, that they are disappointed that we haven't won the game. That shows how far we've come as a team but if we keep playing like that we'll win a lot more than we lose.

“We trust in the process and keep trying to perform like that and if we do, we won't be far away come the end of this season. If we end up finishing above Oxford, as well, we won't be far away.”

Watch the manager’s post-match interview on Twitter HERE

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