‘Big push’ – Ian Evatt makes Morecambe assessment and issues Bolton Wanderers fans rallying cry

Ian Evatt insists Bolton will be fully focused on the here and now when it comes to taking on Morecambe and as urged a rallying cry to Wanderers fans to bring their best in the home games to come as the season approaches its climax.

Wanderers entertain the Shrimps this evening at the University of Bolton Stadium aiming to narrow the seven point gap they currently have to the League One play-offs.

When these two sides met at the Mazuma Stadium at the start of February, the shares were spoiled as Amadou Bakayoko canceled out Cole Stockton’s opener.

READMORE:Bolton Wanderers boss Ian Evatt on Morecambe, message to fans for run-in & Cole Stockton threat

But the game was marred after it was halted following an alleged incident of suspected racist abuse from the crowd directed towards the Wanderers bench.

That has been left in the hands of the relevant authorities and Evatt says Wanderers have moved on from it and are solely focused on doing the best they can against the Shrimps this evening.

Derek Adams has recently rejoined the Lancashire club after his time at Bradford City came to an end for a second spell with the Shrimps.

And Evatt wants his players to come up with solutions on the pitch if they need to be, should Adams’ team line up differently to what they anticipate.

He said: “The authorities are dealing with it. We know what happened but, for us, it has gone.

“We haven’t forgotten it, we have just parked it, and we will concentrate on our own performance levels Tuesday night.

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“They might change things but I spent a lot of time watching them on Sunday and they went with three at the back against Plymouth. Fundamentally, Derek was 4-2-3-1 when we came up against him in League Two, so there is a slight change there.

“All we can do is give the players as many solutions as possible and then it is up to them to find the right ones in-game. I think they are getting better at that and if teams play a back four ‘this is where the space is’ or a back three ‘this is where the space is’ and they don’t have to wait to half time for us to speak with them and give them that direction.

“They have to become coaches on the field and make those choices on the field, and it is something they need to improve on, but they are getting better at it.

“Playing Morecambe is never easy. They are combative, they are well organised, they work hard. They have got one of the league’s best goal scorers up front so they are a threat, they are dangerous.

“We respect the opposition as always but we want to concentrate on ourselves and focus on how we can implement our gameplan on the opposition. If we do that to the best of our ability and levels, we believe we can get three points.”

Wanderers go into the game on the back of a comprehensive and impressive 3-0 win on the road against another side fighting to stay in League One in the form of Gillingham.

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Typically, Wanderers have come unstuck against some of the so-called lesser clubs and especially away from home, but that was far from the case over the weekend.

Evatt believes that Bolton learned their lesson from earlier experiences and now have 10 cup finals to come in a bid to reach the top six, with little margin for error.

And with six of these matches being at the University of Bolton Stadium, Evatt wants the Wanderers fans to make their home ground an intense and intimidating place to come for opposition sides to help along to success in the weeks to come.

Evatt said: “I think we learned our lesson from earlier in the season and some of the away performances at the so-called lesser grounds and clubs.

“Up to Saturday it had been our Kryptonite but that was exceptional in many ways, not so in others, so we have to keep striving to improve. We have 10 huge games coming up – cup finals, and I know it’s a cliché – but we have to be up for those if we are going to give ourselves any chance at all.

“It is an opportunity to go and express ourselves, like we did Saturday, and when we do that I think we all enjoy it – players, staff, fans, you guys (the media), even the opposition at times – it is a pleasure to watch.

“I am pleased we showed our true colours.

“The fans have created a great atmosphere all season here and they want us to give them absolutely everything, our absolute all. And we will definitely try to do that.

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“But I need them to give us their best too, make this place intimidating, intense, the sort of place that our players will thrive on, those performance levels will go up too.

“If you marry the two things up then this place becomes a really tough place to come and we have shown that with results in the last six or seven games.

“Now there are six more games. I need a big push from the fans along with a big push from my players. Let’s see where we can go.”


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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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