Evatt | We'd Love A Repeat

Ian Evatt smile Derby

Ian Evatt says Wanderers would love a repeat of their Trophy triumph when they kick off their defence against Salford City tonight, writes Pete Oliver.

The Whites face the League Two side in their Group E opener as they take the first steps towards a possible Wembley return and the scene of one the club’s finest moments in recent years when a 4-0 win over Plymouth Argyle in April brought the EFL Trophy back to Bolton.

“Football moves on quickly. That feels like forever ago now. But it was a very good day, a momentous day for our journey at this football club and we’d love to replicate it,” said Evatt, who became the first Wanderers’ manager since 1989 to taste success in a knock-out competition as he repeated the Whites’ previous win in the same competition.

“We will have the same approach as we had last year. We want to be competitive in every game we play and this is no different.

"We need everyone involved, everyone bought in and everyone engaged and it’s a great opportunity for us to do that against a very good team.”
Ian Evatt

“This competition is very much like the league campaign. It’s drawn out virtually over the whole season. It starts slowly and it builds up gradually as we go along.

“This is a difficult group with Salford, Stockport and Manchester United involved in that. Salford have had some good results in cup competitions. They beat Leeds and Preston (in the Carabao Cup) so they will come here and give us a good go.

“We need to just concentrate on our own performance and on the back of performances hopefully results will follow.”

The holders go into the tie at the Toughsheet Community Stadium (KO 7.45pm) on the back of a confidence-boosting 2-1 win over Derby County last Saturday, which lifted Wanderers up to second place in League One.

Top scorer Dion Charles, whose penalty against the Rams made it five goals in as many games, is unavailable due to international duty.

Ian Evatt Cameron Jerome

And with Eoin Toal, Josh Sheehan and Zac Ashworth also representing their countries, Wanderers will make changes against Salford – competition winners in 2020 – who were beaten 2-1 by the Whites in a pre-season friendly in July.

“It does limit the options, but we’ve got a really good squad of players who are ready for action,” added Evatt.

“It gives us an opportunity to have a look at a few things and utilise the squad but with our squad that doesn’t necessarily make us weaker, so I’m excited to see the lads play.

“It’s very much a squad game now. Gone are the days where you pick the same XI week-in, week-out and last a 50-60 game season. It just doesn’t happen.

“It’s not something we can do, so we need everyone involved, everyone bought in and everyone engaged and it’s a great opportunity for us to do that against a very good team.”

Wanderers and Salford both play their first games in the group, which is currently topped by Manchester United’s U21s.

The Reds’ youngsters drew 1-1 with Stockport County in their opening game, with United then winning the penalty shoot-out to claim the extra point.

The top two teams in the group will advance to the last-32 and knock-out stages of the competition, which has been won three times by only one club in the shape of 1986, 2003 and 2015 winners Bristol City.

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