Evatt | The Reward Is There For All To See

Ian Evatt presser

Ian Evatt is targeting another big week as he looks to keep his injury-hit squad in promotion contention, writes Pete Oliver.

The Whites entertain Oxford United in front of the Sky Sports cameras on Tuesday night before facing a trip to current top-two rivals Derby County on Saturday.

They will have to do so without Victor Adeboyejo after the striker became the latest to be added to Wanderers’ lengthy casualty list after suffering a hamstring injury in Saturday’s 2-2 draw at Exeter City.

And the absence of the 10-goal frontman – for an estimated four to six weeks – denies Evatt of another forward option as he joins Carlos Mendes Gomes, Dan Nlundulu and top scorer Dion Charles on the sidelines.

“We'll see what the scan says and we’re hopeful for good news,” said the Wanderers’ boss. “But anything better than that is an absolute bonus. We'll know more about Dion today. He's going to see a specialist to see where he's at and we're hopeful post the international break he'll be back with us.

Adeboyejo injury Exeter

“That's a lot of goals taken out the team. It's the harsh realities of football and sometimes these things can come and challenge you.

“It's not an excuse but it's had an impact on us. There aren't many squads that would have been able to cope with the level of injuries we've had but we're still in there, pitching and fighting.

“This week's a big week and if we can get through this week still in touch, or in there (the top two), I'm very confident the remainder of this season will look a lot better for us and we can finish this season incredibly strongly.

 “It’s hard work at the moment but the reward is there for all to see. We've seen every team have ups and downs and little bits of loss of form here and there. I don't actually think we're out of form.

“I just think we've conceded some poor goals and maybe let some results slip away from us. The challenge now is to turn those performances into victories and become more ruthless and get rewards for our good play.”

Evatt Charles

Wanderers – who are hopeful further scans will allow goalkeeper Nathan Baxter to return after the international break after he has a split on his injured wrist removed on Friday – failed to turn 45 minutes of domination at Exeter into maximum points.

But a late Eoin Toal leveller did earn them a point as Evatt’s men extended their unbeaten run to three games to keep their destiny in their own hands.

That will remain the case if the Whites can secure a 13th home league win of the season against play-off chasing Oxford ahead of the weekend trip to Pride Park.

And Evatt wants the fans to play their part in helping Wanderers to overcome the U’s and keep hunting down the top two.

“We're down to our bare bones but that doesn't necessarily mean this is a weak team,” added the Whites’ manager. “This is a strong team that needs everybody's support. Togetherness is key. I've said that all along.

“In testing times it's the togetherness that will pull us through. It's a testing time at the moment but we're still very much in there and we need the supporters to get behind us and will us over the line for an all-important three points. If we can get that the world will feel a much better place.”

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