The injury which forced Will Forrester out of Saturday’s 1-0 win against Blackpool is not a serious one, Ian Evatt confirmed last night.
The defender was not named in the squad at the Toughsheet Stadium after picking up a knee injury in training on Friday but it is hoped he will be back available when Wanderers return to League One duty against Exeter City after the international break.
Evatt explained: “He has tweaked his knee a little bit, the MCL, so we don’t think it is serious – probably enough to keep him out of today and Tuesday – but we are hoping that come the end of the international window he will be fit and fully ready to go again.”
The Wanderers boss was also taken with the atmosphere in Saturday’s game, played in front of the second-biggest attendance of the season.
A total of 24,238 watched at the Toughsheet – which ranks among the top six attendances in the club’s history at this level of football – and contributed to a fiercely competitive game, Evatt added.
“I thought the atmosphere was incredible and that both sets of supporters represented their clubs in the correct way,” he said.
“It was intense but that is what football is all about. It was a brilliant game and I am pleased for both clubs.”
Winning goal-scorer Thomason is the only player in the whole Bolton squad that Evatt did not sign – that honour going to his predecessor, Keith Hill.
But the midfielder, who was released by Blackpool at the age of 16 before rebuilding his career in the North West Counties League with Longridge Town, has slowly become an indispensable member of Wanderers’ midfield.
“Sometimes you just need to let football do the talking and George has done that,” Evatt said.
“I understood right away that George was intelligent, a little bit special, because he picked up information and translated it on to the pitch really well. But he needed to develop physically and needed some time and experience. He has been brought along slowly and now we are starting to see the signs of what he can do.
“I think he has been ready for that push. Football always sorts things out and he has made it impossible for me to leave him out.
“But that is what I say to the players all the time – managers don’t pick teams, players do. Just give me no excuses. And, being honest, the majority of this squad are giving me no excuse and that is why I am having sleepless nights.
“Their training is exceptional, intense, their commitment to work in the gym, the learning classroom, or out on the grass, they are a really good group. I can’t wait already to get back out on the grass on Monday and work with them again, analyse the game, and we need to keep that feeling.”