Evatt | They Got The Job Done

Evatt relief Barnsley

Ian Evatt praised the players and the fans for getting Wanderers over the line to Wembley with the chance to win promotion, writes Pete Oliver.

The Whites booked their place in the League One play-off final with a 5-4 aggregate win over Barnsley on a dramatic night at the Toughsheet Community Stadium.

Having led 2-1 at half-time with goals from Aaron Collins and Eoin Toal, Evatt’s men conceded twice in a nerve-jangling spell mid-way through the second half.

Barnsley pressed to take the tie to extra-time but Wanderers rode out the storm in an electric atmosphere to put themselves one more win away from a potential place in the Championship.

“We've dug it out and for large parts of both games we deserve to be through,” said Evatt, who is looking to guide the Whites to a second promotion in three years as Wanderers’ manager.


Evatt clap Barnsley play-off

“We shouldn't lose perspective on the last 15 minutes because that's what the play-offs can do when you've got nothing to lose but credit to the players, they found a way to win.

“They managed to get the job done and that's all that matters now. They have reacted and responded in the right way to the disappointment of not being automatically promoted. 

“Their ears are ringing a little bit because I will always telling the truth and our game management over the last 15-20 minutes has to be better. But for large parts over the two games we were very good, played well under pressure and are going to have to do that one more time.”

The home fans in a crowd of almost 25,000 roared Wanderers on and they now have the chance to go to Wembley for the second time in two seasons following last year’s victory in the EFL Trophy.

And Evatt knows they will again have a key role to play as he looks to take the Whites up another level by getting past either Peterborough or Oxford United in the final.


Toal goal Barnsley

“The fans were unbelievable and in the last 10 minutes we needed them to energise the players and they did that for us,” added the Whites’ boss.

“I know it's incredibly expensive to go to Wembley but their support means everything to us and can really help, so fingers crossed we can travel down there in our numbers.

“I wish we could shake off this reputation of never doing anything easily because it's draining but we've managed to do it.

“I'm not really going to celebrate. I'm going to take a minute to enjoy what we've done and achieved and then diligently prepare for one more game and we have to go and get the job done now.

“We've given ourselves a brilliant opportunity. It's only an opportunity and I think that's the important message. I'm so pleased for everyone involved, Sharon, the Board, they deserve this. Nobody works harder than them. Football clubs are incredibly expensive to run and all I've had since I've been here is unwavering support.

“We're on the right path, we're on the right track, and we're one game away from achieving the first target from when I first came and that was to get back into the Championship.”

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

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