Evatt | Probably A Positive Point

Evatt touchline Barnsley

Boss Ian Evatt felt Wanderers picked up a ‘positive’ point as they came from behind to share the spoils with away-day specialists Barnsley, writes Pete Oliver.

With just one away defeat all season, the Tykes boast the meanest record on the road in League One.

An early goal from Devante Cole gave Neill Collins’ side the prospect of a ninth win on their travels but Wanderers hit back to secure a deserved 1-1 draw thanks to a headed second-half equaliser from wing-back Zac Ashworth.

“On reflection, after going behind we did well, considering what we've been through this week in terms of the turbulence of the window, injuries, some suspensions, players returning from injuries and playing with knocks and niggles and I think it's probably a positive point,” said Evatt, whose side has now lost just one of their last eight league fixtures.

“It’s a decent one when you go 1-0 down. I thought first half we were really good. We had control and large spells of pressure but we gave ourselves a mountain to climb when you concede from a set-play and we just switched off from the long throw.

“We had some opportunities where we didn't get into the right areas in the box; the wing backs getting in at the far post and the two strikers getting in the six-yard box where the money is.

Ashworth celebration Barnsley

“We had large spells of control but they are always dangerous in transition and set-pieces and in the second-half they had some of those transitional moments from our errors and our mistakes.

“But we rallied and we kept going and we probably had some good opportunities to win it. Aaron was unlucky with the deflected shot and a brilliant save and Paris has a great chance where perhaps he could slip Calvin in.

“The subs made an impact, which is positive, and if you go behind it's important you don't lose the game and we managed to come back. They have lost one league game since November so they are on a good run of form.

“Those types of games are never easy, so I was delighted to get back into it. It was a good game. I think they're a good side. I know we're a good side and think we're only going to improve from here.”

Wanderers’ equaliser came from a superb cross from Aaron Collins, with one of his first touches in a Whites’ shirt following his deadline day move from Bristol Rovers.

The forward is second in the League One assist charts and showed why after combing perfectly with fellow substitute Jon Dadi Bodvarsson to open up the Tykes’ defence before almost grabbing a dramatic late winner.

“That's what he's capable of doing; great moments, great quality and I thought he'd won it for us with a deflected shot at the end. But it was a really positive impact from him,” added Evatt, whose side will be looking to regain their top-two spot at Cambridge United on Tuesday night.

Collins point Barnsley

“It was a brilliant cross and the only man in the box was Zac and it was a brilliant header from him. That's why we ask our wing-backs to get in at the back post, for that reason and I'm delighted with that.

“I thought Aaron was bright when he came on and we know now we’ve got some serious quality in the squad and can pick teams accordingly. Once we've got everyone fit and healthy there's serious competition for places."

Defenders Will Forrester and Gethin Jones are set to add to that competition with both potentially available for the mid-week trip to the Abbey Stadium following injury and international duty, respectively.

However, captain Ricardo Almeida Santos may miss a further couple of games with a calf injury which kept him out of the game against Barnsley, when new loan signing Caleb Taylor came in to make an instant debut following his arrival from West Bromwich Albion.

“He did great. He hasn't played a great deal of football and became tired and fatigued and we had to get him off and make changes," Evatt told Wanderers TV. "But I was pleased with him. I thought he did really well and I was pleased with Calv (Ramsay) when he came on.

“We've got a good squad of players. Now we need to get everyone up to speed, get the injured players back and then I'm confident we've got a very exciting squad.”

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