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Manchester Evening News
Manchester Evening News
John McDougall

Bolton Wanderers 'would have lost' Cambridge draw in past as Ian Evatt makes Plymouth Argyle comparison

Ian Evatt believes Bolton Wanderers would have lost last weekend's draw against Cambridge United and feels they are '80 per cent' of the way to how they want their game to look like.

Wanderers picked up a point on the road last weekend against the U's with a goalless draw at the Abbey Stadium. It is a point at a type of ground that the Whites have struggled to get much from in seasons gone by.

Evatt candidly admitted his team would have been on the losing side in the past, and could indeed have had all three points had their chances which they did create go in. They sit just outside the League One play-offs heading into tomorrow's encounter against Fleetwood Town, a similar kind of contest.

READ MORE: Why Bolton Wanderers' 3pm Saturday clash vs Fleetwood Town is on iFollow & how to watch

At the moment, Wanderers are having a bit of a fallow spell in front of goal and not finding the back of the net with the regularity that they should have. Evatt is confident this will change.

At the other end of the scale, he pointed to League One leaders Plymouth Argyle and how they are outperforming in terms of the goals scored and conceding at the moment. But he believes that is not sustainable as he wants Wanderers to play the numbers game better and how the club's strikers in particular can benefit from getting back to basics when they take on the Cod Army.

He told the Manchester Evening News : “We’d have lost that game in the past, there’s no denying it. In terms of what we ask the players to do and execute on Saturday, a lot of it was correct and right. We can be loads better, we know that, but it was a step in the right direction. I thought we looked more aggressive, more energetic, more intense, more determined, and we did the basics better.

“With the ball, we know we can be a bit better than what we were, but we still dominated. We passed more progressively, more pragmatically at times, but we can do that with the players we’ve got.

“We were that far away from a 1-0 away victory at a place where we haven’t had a great record, in grounds like that we haven’t had a great record and almost scored with a set play, so we weren’t too far away.

“I think a lot of our game is right, I believe as much as 80 per cent is where we want it to be, but everyone is striving for that last 15 to 20 per cent. For instance, if you look at Plymouth, they’re a great example at the moment because if you look at their xG, they’re massively outperforming what they’re actually creating and what they’re actually conceding at the moment and that’s not sustainable either.

“We just have to keep doing the things that we’re doing and be more consistent with it, make sure that we believe in ourselves more and maybe play the numbers game a little bit better and get our shots off and hopefully those goals will start to go in.

“It’s not that easy. I’ve just tried to strip it back for them and say let’s just play the numbers game. If you make the wrong decision, it is what it is, but for now let’s just get back to shooting on site, putting balls in good areas, making sure we’re filling those good areas and see what happens with that.

“I do think at the moment looking at all the historical data, in terms of chance conversion, it’s a bit of an anomaly. But we are where we are and we’ll keep working hard with them.”

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