Ian Evatt hopes Bolton youngsters are not scarred by abuse following latest loss



Posted Sunday, December 12, 2021 by PA

Ian Evatt hopes Bolton youngsters are not scarred by abuse following latest loss

Bolton boss Ian Evatt said he hopes his young players are not scarred by the abuse they received after Wanderers matched an unwanted club record of six successive away league defeats with their 1-0 loss at Accrington.

Tommy Leigh scored the only goal of the game for the Reds in the 20th minute when he headed home Ross Sykes’ long ball forward.

Wanderers had their chances with Stanley goalkeeper Toby Savin pulling off a superb acrobatic save to keep out Declan John’s close-range effort.

Eoin Doyle also wasted a good chance while at the other end Sykes had two headers cleared off the line as Bolton’s fans – 2,599 in a crowd of 4546 – were once again left frustrated.

As well as claiming no points from their last six away league matches, Wanderers have also failed to score in any of those games, but while Evatt concedes some of the criticism they have received is justified, he was also quick to defend his players.

“We should have had three in the first half at least and we conceded a really poor goal,” said Evatt.

“The lads have given everything, we are missing six players that would start the game and we have that drop off.

“I can’t ask any more from the young players, Adam Senior was outstanding, George Thomason stood up and was counted, they don’t deserve the abuse they are getting at the end, they are trying their best, they are young and I hope they aren’t scarred by it.

“They need to keep positive, this was going to be a tough time for everyone and today was better that Tuesday just not the result we wanted.

“We are going to take a lot of criticism. Some is justified – we are not happy with where we are or the results and with some performances – but our hands are tied.

“We are limited with options, these lads playing now would not necessarily have thought they would be starting games for us in League One. They need time to develop but have been thrust in.

“It’s a big football club, with huge expectancy and mostly fantastic supporters. We need to keep our heads, keep our composure and keep fighting and show we are worth it.

“People have got short memories. This time last year we were beaten 6-3 by Port Vale and were 20th in League Two. We showed it last season, we will show it this season.”

After a poor run, John Coleman’s Accrington are now up to 10th in League One.

“We had a little bit of luck in the first half, they had a couple of chances that you would expect them to score with and Toby has made a great save but I think we deserved that luck with how hard we worked,” he said.

“In the second half, we showed a side I haven’t seen from us this season, we kept them at arm’s length and defended really well.

“We were whole-hearted and we kept a good side, who created chances in the first half, at bay. They didn’t really hurt us in the second half. Our defence has been much maligned so you should give them the praise today.

“Toby made a match-winning save and it’s won us the game just as much as Tommy’s goal.”

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