Bolton boss Ian Evatt’s message to ‘outstanding’ Dapo Afolayan after Cheltenham penalty decision

Ian Evatt she knew Dapo Afolayan would be disappointed not to take the penalty he won against Cheltenham Town for Bolton Wanderers but believes he was ‘outstanding’ as he caused problems for the Robins.

Kieran Sadlier put Wanderers in front after the break at the Jonny Rocks Stadium after great work from Jon Dadi Bodvarsson.

Afolayan won a penalty after going down under Lewis Freestone’s challenge but substitute Amadou Bakayoko made it clear he wanted to take the spot kick in discussions with the Wanderers top scorer.

READMORE: Bolton boss Ian Evatt on Cheltenham win, Afolayan & Bakayoko penalty decision & strong season end

He converted in style with a low finish as Scott Flinders went the opposite direction, but the Robins set up a tense finish as Aaron Ramsey came off the bench to capitalize from James Trafford’s error and halve the deficit just before full-time.

Bakayoko took the spot kick ahead of Afolayan after discussions on the pitch between the duo and Evatt shared the message he told the club’s top scorer this season after the game as he feels the attacker needs to channel his emotions in the correct way at times, but admitted he is still learning his trade.

Evatt said: “I said to him that your performance was outstanding, I know you’re disappointed not to take the penalty, but their players targeted you Dapo because you’re a good player and you’re causing them problems.

“He has to remember that. He’s a great kid. Sometimes he’s a bit misunderstood, but he just wants to win, he cares. He doesn’t always channel that the right way sometimes but he’s still learning. He’s a really talented player and I thought he was absolutely brilliant.

“I’m delighted with all the forward players, absolutely all of them. Dion’s (Charles) having a rough time at the moment, but the work ethic that he gives the team, the movement, the runs, he doesn’t give center halves a minute, that still has a value as well. He’ll score goals for us.

“Jon’s (Dadi Bodvarsson) been playing fantastically well. We’ve got Kacha and Baka keeps scoring, Dapo is outstanding. We’ve got a really good group of forward players and they’re all going to flit in and out of shape as the season goes on, but the most important thing is they’re together, they support each other and they give us performances like they have done today.”

Evatt felt the only time that the Robins threatened his side came in the first half when Trafford made a fantastic stop from Alfie May just before half-time.

And Evatt felt the margin of victory in Gloucestershire ought to have been greater than what it was.

He said: “But for one instance in the first half and Traff made an excellent save, but other than that I thought we were really comfortable, second half in particular, I thought we controlled the game superbly well.

“They offered very little, it was more us and waves of attack and we deserved the lead and deserved to extend it probably as well.”

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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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