Evatt | Someone Has To Grasp It

Dion Charles Ian Evatt

Ian Evatt is backing his remaining fit frontmen to keep firing Wanderers forward after losing the services of top scorer Dion Charles, writes Pete Oliver.

Charles sustained a knee injury during Tuesday night’s win over Wycombe Wanderers with a scan revealing some medial ligament damage.

Thankfully it won’t be a long-term absence for the Northern Ireland international but the striker, who has scored 17 times this season, is set to miss the next few games.

And Evatt will now be looking to others in the striking ranks to help fill the void as the Whites prepare to face Charlton Athletic on Saturday with the possibility of moving back into the automatic promotion places.

“Luckily for us it's not too serious. It could have been a lot worse than it is but it's significant enough for him to miss two or three weeks,” confirmed the Wanderers’ boss.

Dion Charles treatment Wycombe

“We've got a good core of strikers and with adversity comes opportunity. Now Dion is out someone has to grasp it and really take advantage of that opportunity and someone has to step up. Whoever that is we don't mind. We just know as a team we need to share that responsibility and keep scoring goals.”

Charles partnered January signing Aaron Collins from the start against Wycombe, with Jon Dadi Bodvarsson and Victor Adeboyejo coming off the bench to help seal an 11th home league win of the season.

Bodvarsson’s first league goal of the campaign ultimately proved decisive in the 2-1 victory, while Cameron Jerome will also be available to face the Addicks after a minor back issue kept him out of contention in mid-week.

“I'm delighted for Jon,” added Evatt, who is also without longer term absentee Dan Nlundulu. “He's really worked hard. He's had some challenges so far this season but has kept his head down. He’s a wonderful person, on and off the pitch, and it's great for him.

“And Cameron has really impacted games for us. He probably hasn't got the goals return he would want but the role we ask him to play, he plays it amazing. It's great to have him back, as well. Obviously, signing Aaron was big for us and Victor has been doing consistently well all season, so we have a good core group of strikers.”

Evatt Jerome

Wanderers – who also have Carlos Mendes Gomes as a potential forward option – are now missing Charles, Nathan Baxter, Ricardo Almeida Santos and the suspended George Thomason from the spine of their team.

But the Whites, who are also without injured wing-back Randell Williams, remain on a five-match unbeaten league run and third in the League One table with games in hand on the sides above them.

“We've been tested and challenged,” admitted Evatt. “I've been here for almost four years now and everyone who's been associated with this club longer than I have tells me that Bolton never do things the easy way.

“We’ve had some adversity in recent weeks with injuries to key personnel, the weather, suspensions etc etc. It's been tough but, like I've said all along, to get anything this season we're going to have to earn it and it's times like this we have to just roll up our sleeves and get on with it.

“We're in there pitching. We're in a really strong position. Sixteen games left and that old cliche of 16 cup finals definitely applies to us and the next challenge and opportunity is Saturday.

“We’re not looking too far ahead, we're not looking at next week or the week after or what might be in April. We're looking at the here and now and that's a really challenging game against Charlton on Saturday.”

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