Post-Match: Evatt on Bolton's Defeat to Bradford City

  • September 05, 2020 | By Chris Mann
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Ian Evatt admits his Bolton team isn't quite at the level he expected, after they were dumped out of the Carabao Cup by Bradford City.

Lee Novak and Harry Pritchard scored in each half as the Bantams booked their place in round two of the competition, giving Evatt plenty to ponder ahead of Tuesday's EFL Trophy opener against Crewe Alexandra.

Antoni Sarcevic - one of 11 debutants on the day - had brought Wanderers level early in the second half but the Trotters Head Coach believes the goal caused his players to take their foot off the gas, rather than push on in search of an elusive winner.

"I think we probably controlled the majority of the possession but we just couldn't live and deal with what they were throwing at us," Evatt told OfficialBWFC on YouTube.

"They were quite direct at times, putting crosses into the box and turning our back three.

"Their two centre forwards worked our centre halves really well and we didn't quite deal with it.

"We can't keep giving away goals like that. The first one comes from someone not tracking a runner - a cross in the box and a goal - and the second one comes from putting no pressure on the cross and it's a free header. We've got more than enough bodies back there so we have to deal with those situations better.

"I thought we came out strong in the second half, scored quickly and looked like we were going to go on and win the game. But we backed off and what was giving us joy, we stopped doing.

"We have to understand the reasons behind what we're working on in training and then implement that in a game. We didn't quite do that today, at times.

"I don't think we're miles away. We had 63% of the possession but that's irrelevant if we're losing the game. We have to turn that into goals, opportunities and chances, and we didn't do that.

"I thought we had two or three under par today and you can't afford to do that. To win games of football you need to win your individual battles.

"At the end of the day, all the tactics, formations, possession football or whatever you want to speak about - it's 11-v-11 or 1-v-1. Win your battle against your opponent and if you do that, we win the game.

"We switched off and you cannot afford to give opponents opportunities. It's difficult for us when teams to into low-block and we've got a lot of possession because they're hard to break down, so when you get level or go in front you can't afford to give goals away.

"After we got level today, we gave a bad goal away and just didn't have time to recover.

"There is a lot to be learnt. I'm disappointed because I want to win every game we play in.

"I know there's so much more to come. It is going to take time to see the best of us but I still think we're good enough now to be winning games and I just don't think we were quite where I think we should be and needed to be today."

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Sky Bet League Two Standings

Pos Team Pld Pts
18 Leyton Orient 6 5
19 Oldham Athletic 6 4
20 Bolton Wanderers 6 4
21 Scunthorpe United 6 4
22 Barrow AFC 6 3
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