Post-Match: Evatt on Bolton's Draw With MK Dons

  • August 07, 2021 | By Chris Mann
  • URL Short URL: http://b-ac.es/51c46

Ian Evatt praised the character of his players, as Bolton began the 2021/22 campaign with a 3-3 draw at home to Milton Keynes Dons.

Trailing to Mohamed Eisa's 22nd-minute opener, Wanderers drew level through Josh Sheehan on the half-hour before his fellow debutant Amadou Bakayoko put the hosts 2-1 up midway through the second period.

Scott Twine levelled for the Dons on 71 minutes and substitute Hiram Boateng made it 3-2 with seven minutes to play, only for Alex Baptiste to strike in the final minute of stoppage time to cap an extraordinary afternoon at the University of Bolton Stadium - where more than 16,000 supporters were in attendance for the first time since February 2020.

Speaking after the game, Evatt believes his team has shown promise ahead of what will be a difficult season and was pleased to see his players claw their way back on two separate occasions.

"It was a strange game in many ways," Evatt told OfficialBWFC on YouTube.

"We thought we'd had it, we thought we'd won it, they thought they'd won it and then we ended up shaking hands on a draw.

"There are lots of positives. At 2-1, I think we were dominating the game and they looked low on energy after a difficult week but the set-piece gave them a lease of life and lifted their spirits. It was great character from our players to come back.

"They're a very good team and the way they move the ball is a lot different to most teams. We had to come up with the right pressing strategy, look at what they do and try to capitalise on that.

"I think we created the moments to do that but just weren't clinical and ruthless enough.

"I'm slightly disappointed to score three goals at home and not win but it was great character from the boys.

"It was great to have our support back in the stadium. It was an unbelievable atmosphere and it was great that they witnessed a game like that because that crowd and support needs a game like that.

"What we've shown today is that we're a competitive team, a good team, and we're only going to improve from here.

"I thought everybody did well. (Eoin) Doyle has run his socks off after missing most of pre-season. We've had lads in and out with illness or injury but we've really stuck together and I'm really pleased with the character to come back.

"It's the first game of the season. The season isn't defined today but we've given a good account of ourselves, we know there's more to come. We know we've made mistakes but there's lots of positives."

Sky Bet League One Standings

Pos Team Pld Pts
1 Accrington Stanley 0 0
2 Barnsley 0 0
3 Bolton Wanderers 0 0
4 Bristol Rovers 0 0
5 Burton Albion 0 0
View Full Standings >>

Poll

Who is Bolton's 2021/22 Player of the Year?
32.58% Oladapo Afolayan
30.96% Gethin Jones
21.72% Ricardo Almeida Santos
5.51% Declan John
4.05% Kieran Lee
3.08% MJ Williams
1.78% Joel Dixon
0.32% George Johnston