Evatt | Play Like That And We're Difficult To Stop

Team celebration Oxford

Ian Evatt expressed his pride in his players as they served up a treat for the television cameras, writes Pete Oliver.

Wanderers turned on the style with a 5-0 win over Oxford United which kept them just a point behind second-placed Derby County before the sides meet at Pride Park on Saturday.

The Whites had needed to come from behind to claim draws in their last two away games but never gave Oxford a sniff at the Toughsheet Community Stadium with an outstanding 90-minute performance which had Evatt purring.

“We've carried some frustrations the last few weeks,” said the Wanderers’ boss. “I think we've not got the results that some of our performances - in spells in games - have deserved. Tonight, we were a lot more ruthless and clinical.

“This group of players is extremely talented, regardless of the injuries we've got which are really tough to take. When they play like that, with that focus and belief, we are a difficult team to stop and I'm really proud of them tonight.

“When we were last on Sky against Portsmouth we didn't do ourselves justice, so it was great to show the nation what this team is capable of. I do think the players have been coming back into form. I've said that in pre-match stuff and tonight they have gone out and executed what was a very good performance.

Evatt applause Oxford

“This team is really capable when they're focused and confident. That's why I keep harping on about togetherness because when we feel like the fans are really with us and behind us it gives the players belief and confidence and really helps us.

“I thought the fans were brilliant tonight in doing that and the players went out and executed everything we've talking been talking about behind the scenes.”

A 13th home league win of the season keeps Wanderers in touching distance of the automatic promotion places after Nathanael Ogbeta, Josh Dacres-Cogley, George Thomason, Aaron Collins and man-of-the-match Josh Sheehan hit the target on a night the Whites went past 100 goals for the season.

And Evatt wants no letting up over the run-in as Wanderers plan for a big eight-game sequence which continues with Saturday’s mouth-watering trip to the Rams and then a Good Friday trip to play-off hopefuls Stevenage.

“We've got a big game on Saturday, but we must remember it's not do or die,” he added. “There's still a lot of football to be played. We're in a pretty good position, a strong position, that we need to continue with and if we perform like that will not have too much to worry about.

“That's the standard for us and I will hold the players accountable if they dip below that. When they play like that they make me very proud.

“We've now got back-to-back away games, which are two very difficult games against difficult opponents, and after that we have a run of home games to come. We're right in the mix now that's where we want to be.

“It's going to go down to the wire but we're a group of fighters and we want to fight for this football club and do the best we can to try and get into the championship.”

Watch the manager’s full post-match interview on Wanderers TV HERE

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