Evatt: We'll Get Stronger For Kick-Off

Evatt coaching

Boss Ian Evatt expects Wanderers to keep strengthening from inside and out in time to launch their League One challenge.

The Whites are half-way through their pre-season preparation with three weeks to go until they face Lincoln City on the opening day.

Evatt’s men drew 1-1 at Chester in their third friendly fixture to extend their unbeaten start without captain Ricardo Almeida Santos and last season’s top scorer Dion Charles.

Charles has been eased back following international duty but is ready to step up his game time and as well as the return of Santos - and at some point defensive colleague Eoin Toal - Wanderers are also pressing on with plans to add to their summer signings.

“We’re working hard to get one or two back fit again and available,” confirmed Evatt after an opening goal from George Thomason had been cancelled out at the Deva Stadium by Chester’s late first-half leveller.

Evatt watching Chester

“Rico should be okay next week. He picked up the illness his child had but is making a good recovery. Eoin Toal is recovering all the time and we’re hopeful with him.

“We’re looking a bit light on numbers but we’ve had to try and navigate our way through while we’re working very hard to improve the squad in the transfer market.

“We’re four or five light. I think everybody can guess in the positions where we are light. We’re working really hard to make these things happen but these things take time.

“There’s lots of negotiations happening behind the scenes and I’m confident come the big kick-off we will be stronger as a squad.”

Wanderers should have made it three wins out of three against a Chester side building up towards their National League North side.

The Whites played some excellent first-half football without adding to Thomason’s strike.

They were made to pay when Chester equalised with a superb strike from Joel Taylor with the last touch of the first half.

But Evatt is confident the cutting edge will come as Wanderers now prepare to face EFL and Premier League opposition during the rest of their build-up.


"I’m confident come the big kick-off we will be stronger as a squad.”
Ian Evatt

“At the moment it’s just a fitness exercise. That’s now going to start to change as pre-season starts to get a little bit more serious,” added the Whites’ boss, whose side faces Bradford City in a behind-closed-doors game on Tuesday before taking on Salford City, Everton and West Bromwich Albion.

“I thought the first half was excellent. Again, it was another step forward. Some of the patterns of play we’ve been working on came to fruition.

“The only disappointing thing was it was 1-1 at half-time. It was a wonder goal from them but we could and should have done better with that.

“In the second half there’s always disruption when you’re making changes and bringing on some of the B Team to help save the legs of some of the first team players.

“You don’t have the same rhythm but we had enough chances in the game to win comfortably. We are creating a lot of chances and we’ll back the lads to start taking them and the most important thing for me, right now, is that there are no more injuries. 

"There are some big games to come now. We’ve got four friendlies left. Four good tests for us and see some more progression and, come the big kick-off, we’ll be ready.”

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