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Bolton Nuts » BWFC » Bolton Wanderers News » 'We haven't forgotten it' - Evatt puts Morecambe anger to the back of his mind

'We haven't forgotten it' - Evatt puts Morecambe anger to the back of his mind

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Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse

'We haven't forgotten it' - Evatt puts Morecambe anger to the back of his mind 13447486

Wanderers will have to put anger to the back of their mind as they reacquaint themselves with Morecambe just a month on from the shameful scenes of the Mazuma Stadium.

Memories of Ian Evatt leading his team off the pitch after allegedly racist comments were aimed from the stands towards the Bolton bench are still very fresh.

And though Amadou Bakayoko’s late, late equaliser earned a measure of redemption on that rain-soaked afternoon, wounds will not heal entirely until legal processes reach their conclusion.

Evatt said his piece at the time, branding the abuse “disgraceful and disgusting” also alleging that some of his players had been spat on by fans above the dugout.

On Monday morning, however, he declined to rake over old coals, urging his players and the Bolton fans to concentrate on three points on offer.

“The authorities are dealing with it,” he said of the club’s complaints. “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.”

It may only be four weeks since the two sides last met but a managerial change at Morecambe means they may approach tonight’s game in a slightly different way than they would have under the tutelage of Stephen Robinson.

Derek Adams returned to the club shortly after being sacked by Bradford City and has since led them to a draw against Ipswich and a 2-0 defeat at Plymouth.

Evatt locked horns with the Scot on a couple of occasions in League Two last season but says Adams has yet to alter the shape of his team.

“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,” he said. “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.”

The weekend win against Gillingham exorcised a demon of sorts in the Wanderers camp, with Evatt pleased to see them first match a direct team for physicality, and then by playing their own brand of football.

He wants more of the same against Morecambe, a team whose direct style had been softened under Robinson but could yet resurface now that Adams is back in charge.

“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,” he said.

“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.”

Of the sides promoted from League Two last season, Morecambe are the only one in danger of an immediate return, currently 21st and two points off safety.

Wanderers are the only one of the four promoted sides with play-off ambitions and Evatt reckons the experience of 12 months ago can work in their favour.

“That’s the job for me and the staff now, keeping players focused and composed,” he said.

“The players also have to believe and trust in each other, and one thing I will say is that some of them have been through promotion last season, I have been through promotions as a manager and a player, so I know what we need to do now.

“We all have to keep our eyes on the prize and keep striving to improve performances, earning points.”


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