Bolton Wanderers boss Ian Evatt on Accrington win, strong season finish & Stanley offside goal

Bolton Wanderers secured back-to-back wins over the Easter bank holiday weekend with a 3-1 victory at home over Accrington Stanley.

Dapo Afolayan put the hosts in front before half-time with his 14th strike of the season as Wanderers went in leading at the break.

Jay Rich-Baghuelou leveled for the visitors early in the second half before Jon Dadi Bodvarsson came off the bench to fire Wanderers back in front.

READMORE:Bolton Wanderers player ratings vs Accrington – Bodvarsson, Afolayan and Bakayoko good in win

Accrington had a goal for Tommy Leigh ruled out for offside before they were reduced to 10 men after Rosaire Longelo was shown a straight red card for fouling Aaron Morley, before Bodvarsson scored his second to wrap up the three points for Wanderers.

After the game, Wanderers boss Ian Evatt spoke to the press and here’s his immediate reaction to the victory at the University of Bolton Stadium.

The substitutions did it?

“I wouldn’t say that. I think what we have got now is really good options, looking at different things, different systems and to be adaptable next season, we have to be able to nail down shapes and formations and structures and what’s required at the drop of a hat really.

“We’ve changed in both games. We’ve gone from 4-3-3 to 3-5-2 or vice-versa and today we did that. They caused us problems in terms of their press, they just went ultra man for man, made it really difficult and when you haven’t got that physical presence at the top end of the pitch, you struggle to play to the third line and get hold of the ball or win your duels.

“Having said that, the goal came a kick to the third line and we gambled and Dapo managed to get on it and score a good goal and second half, rather than playing through the press, we decided to go over it with Jon and Baka coming on and causing problems and the big man is on absolute fire at the minute. He’s looking a real handful and the two of them are combining really well.”

You’ve had a very happy Easter and in another season, is there a part of you that’s disappointed not to be involved in a real chance of a promotion play-off place?

“I think we’re disappointed but there’s a lot to be positive about as well. I think we’re a newly promoted team and 67 points with two to play is certainly a good effort.

“We feel like we’ve left some points out there but I think everybody probably could feel the same thing. I do feel we’ve had more injuries than most and especially the November and December period which ultimately has cost us is one to look back on.

“But one thing is for sure, we’re heading in the right direction. We’ve got different options, different plans now. There’s not just Plan A, we’ve got Plan B and C and things are looking bright and I’m pleased with that today.”

You wanted a strong finish and that’s what it looks like?

“Yeah. I think we’ve lost three games since the middle of January in half a season which is title-winning form, there’s no denying that. We’re pleased with that.

“We want to finish strongly and build momentum for next season. There’s lots of things to work on and improve on and that’s what’s exciting for me really. We haven’t had a full pre-season with this squad yet. Ultimately it’s a new squad and there’s going to be some more players joining us in the summer so lots of hard work to be done, but lots of things to be positive about as well.”

Did you have a bit of luck with Accrington’s second goal being ruled out for offside?

“It was off side. We’ve had some bad luck with offside decisions of late and finally the officials got one right. Basically both teams didn’t have a great deal to play for today but pride and professionalism.

“I didn’t feel it was fierce at times. I didn’t feel like there was many bad tackles at all but there seemed to be so many yellow cards, it seemed a card a challenge really, I think that was the rule today I haven’t seen the red back but at the time I thought it was a foul and we’re appealing for a foul and the referee has sent the lad off and that’s made slightly more comfortable for us.

“I’m pleased with the win because they asked us a lot of questions and made it difficult for us at times and we must remember we’ve got a lot of players out injured as well so that squad is affected. They’re physically and mentally tired so good to get the win.”

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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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