Evatt | We'll Need Squad Strength

Ian Evatt night match

Captain Ricardo Almeida Santos returns to duty as Wanderers aim to keep the festive feel-good going on Boxing Day.

Santos missed Saturday’s 3-2 win over Leyton Orient which lifted the Whites back up to third place in the League One table.

Ian Evatt’s men had to dig deep in the defender’s absence to stop Orient’s fightback earning them a point after Wanderers had roared into an early three-goal lead.

The Whites showed the grit they needed to get over the line and end their three-game winless league run.

But the availability of skipper Santos after a one-match ban is still a welcome boost ahead of Tuesday’s trip to ninth-placed Lincoln City, where Evatt is likely to make changes in a bid to make the festive programme as productive as possible on the back of the weekend’s winning start.

“We've got to be really good squad of players. We've got Rico back now and a good squad of players will be ready to play on Boxing Day,” said the Wanderers’ boss.

“We're going to have to utilise the squad over this Christmas. You have to. Four games in nine or 10 days is tough, especially when you play the way we do, without and without the ball.

“It's physically challenging to play the way we want to play. It's intense, it's front foot, and we need to park that (Saturday’s win) and move on and re-set for difficult game on Boxing Day.”

Wanderers are preparing themselves for the impending departure of vice-captain Gethin Jones and forward Carlos Mendes Gomes on international duty.

But that won’t be an issue at the LNER Stadium where the Whites will be missing only long-term absentees Dan Nlundulu and George Johnston against a Lincoln side beaten just twice at home in the league this season.

The trip to Lincoln precedes a visit to Fleetwood Town on Friday night with both games sell-outs for Wanderers’ travelling fans.

And with Wanderers approaching the half-way point of a busy season, Evatt just wants to keep picking up points to add to those taken from Saturday’s eighth home win of the season.

“That's why we have to re-set and move on,” he added. “All that counts over the Christmas period is finding a way to win. You haven't got time to process performances and tweak things here and there. You just have to get your heads down, roll up your sleeves and work hard.”

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