Ian Evatt wants Wanderers to maintain the winning habit as they swap the FA Cup for the next step of their attempt to successfully defend the Bristol Street Motors (EFL) Trophy, writes Pete Oliver.
Wanderers’ 0-0 draw at Premier League side Luton Town in the FA Cup on Sunday prolonged their interest in that competition with a fourth-round trip to Everton or Crystal Palace awaiting the winners of the replay.
The Whites are also going great guns in League One, with four straight wins either side of Christmas propelling them back into the automatic promotion places.
Evatt’s men resume that push at home to Cheltenham Town on Saturday and the Wanderers’ boss just wants to keep winning, regardless of the competition, as he prepares his side to go to Accrington Stanley in the last-16 of the Trophy tonight (Wednesday).
“We want to be competitive in every game that we play,” said Evatt. “There's no denying that, but we also know, and are fully aware, that the league is our bread and butter. It's the main thing we need to achieve success in this season.
“We know what's important, but winning games is a habit and something we've done consistently well. We've got a squad of players we all trust and we know can produce on any given match-day and tonight that would be no different.
“Whatever team we pick we feel is capable of getting the result we need to get through to the next round. We've got a really tough game against Luton to come in the periphery, but for now it's just focus on Accrington and give that the importance it deserves.
“We're going to need to because they will be highly motivated after the semi-final last year and will want to get their own back, so we have to be ready for it.
“Every time you go to Accrington you know what you're going to be in for. It's going to be really tough game. John’s teams are always competitive and they're doing really well again this year. He's done an amazing job over the years and knows exactly how to coach and set up a team.
“We know 100% what we're going into and we just need to be ready for it and we have to apply ourselves the same way as we did on Sunday.”
Wanderers set up their Wembley triumph in the Trophy last season with a tense semi-final win over John Coleman’s side at the Wham Stadium.
That was another big night in the Whites’ recent journey back from the brink as Evatt’s side went on to win the club’s first piece of knock-out silverware in 34 years.
And the Wanderers’ fans will again be out in their thousands as the Whites bid to overcome the League Two Reds and reach the last eight again in their quest to become the first club to win the Trophy two years in succession.
“Our away fans are just incredible,” added Evatt. “The atmosphere they created on Sunday was fantastic and no doubt they'll do the same again tonight.
“I've said many times as a manager of this football club that our most important thing is to try and make our supporters proud of this team. We feel like we're on our way to doing that.
“We've got work to do in the second half of this season but it's really important we keep our performances high so they can back us all the way, which we know they will.”
Watch the manager’s full pre-match interview on Wanderers TV HERE