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Bolton Nuts » BWFC » Bolton Wanderers News » "We saw flashes" - Evatt hopes point at Exeter will prove to be a positive

"We saw flashes" - Evatt hopes point at Exeter will prove to be a positive

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karlypants

karlypants
Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse
Ian Evatt says he won’t know how to feel about the point earned at Exeter City until after the final whistle on Saturday.

The Wanderers boss was pleased with the character his side showed at St James Park to rescue a point, Arthur Gnahoua scrubbing out the advantage given by Ricardo Santos’s own goal.

On a rainy night it was difficult to assess what, if any, improvements had been made over the 10-day break in fixtures, during which Evatt dragged his players back to the drawing board for a more concerted push towards the top seven in the second half of the season.

A better appraisal may be possible on Saturday when Cheltenham Town come to the UniBol looking to avenge their narrow defeat before Christmas.

Evatt changed the shape of his team to 4-3-3 but admitted some of the finer details which had been drummed into his players on the training ground were not obvious in what proved a scrappy affair.

“The conditions weren’t really conducive to it,” he said. “You saw flashes of it. We saw flashes in the first half when Kieran’s picked up lovely space and tried to thread a few passes and our movement was there and then the goal was a real plus and positive for me because we’ve worked a lot on that. The chance from (Antoni) Sarcevic where he flashed it across too.

“Was the pitch conducive to it? No, but I saw flashes of it.

“I thought the defensive structure was a lot better though. We were a lot more compact, a lot tighter. We knew what was going to come our way and we kind of sucked them in to a false sense of security and then pressed hard.

“That worked at times. We probably could have punished them further in the last 20 minutes of the game.

“But I think it’s a point on the road and providing we can take the game to Cheltenham on Saturday and get three points, it’s a good point.”

There were few moments of elegance in a typical League Two game but Wanderers’ goal, created by Ali Crawford and Antoni Sarcevic and finished from close range by Gnahoua was one from the training ground playbook.

“We’ve got that in our locker,” Evatt said. “And we almost had another one where Sarce has flashed it across and Doyler just couldn’t quite there at the back post and then Arthur cut inside and had a good effort.

“We are capable of that. To be honest, it’s a really difficult surface to play football on, really heavy. You have got to win games and get results ugly and we have had to dig in at times, but we have shown that we can do that.

“On the road, our performances have been good in general, just at home we need to start picking up more points and dominating games more.”

Wanderers have yet to win a game in which they have fallen behind this season but they have retrieved five points and Evatt is confident his team has the conditioning to get more.

“I think if you look back at our results, we’ve shown that all season that the lads keep going until the end,” he said. “The comeback at Carlisle, we have scored last minute against Mansfield, we came on strong late today, against Crawley we did the same.

“Our fitness levels are excellent. We keep going until the end and if we can be there or thereabouts at 60 minutes then we give ourselves a chance to take over.

“We have players now that are fit and available and can come on and change games.

“Just the disappointing thing (against Exeter) was that we did the ugly side really well, fought and dug in, but the goal was really poor one to concede. We have to be better than that.

“But a point is a platform again and we need to go into Saturday and make sure that we get three points because this is a good point if you win on Saturday. If you don’t win, it’s not so good.”

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