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Manchester Evening News
Manchester Evening News
John McDougall

'Does something like that' - Verdict on Liverpool loanee Conor Bradley's stunning Bolton goal

Ian Evatt believes it is going to be hard to manage expectations around Liverpool loanee Conor Bradley after scoring a memorable first goal for Bolton Wanderers but is pleased for the young prospect.

Brandon Thomas-Asante put visitors Salford City in front last night at the University of Bolton Stadium in the first round of the Carabao Cup, but Wanderers equalised through Elias Kachunga. Jon Dadi Bodvarsson ensured Wanderers went into the break ahead.

Kieran Sadlier added a third after half-time, before Liverpool loanee Bradley came off the bench to score a stunning fourth. Dapo Afolayan scored a late fifth before George Thomason was shown a straight red card for a challenge on Luke Bolton as the Whites booked their place in the second round in style with a 5-1 win.

READ MORE: Carabao Cup round two draw numbers with Bolton Wanderers, Everton, Leeds & Aston Villa in hat

Bradley has impressed during the early stages of his season on loan at Wanderers from the Anfield club. He has notched assists in his opening two League One clashes before a fantastic goal from 25 yards in the clash against the Ammies, which was his first strike in men's football.

Evatt is trying to manage expectations surrounding the 19-year-old following an exciting start to life at Bolton, but believes it will be hard to do so if he keeps producing moments like that. Bradley was one of five substitutes made last night as the youngster came off the bench in the second half and Evatt believes it will be something which really benefits Wanderers this campaign.

He said: “I am trying to manage expectations with him, including his own, and trying to keep everyone’s feet on the ground… And then he goes and does something like that. It is kind of hard to give him a break. He is a talented lad and we’re pleased for him.

“The five subs is really going to aid us this season, I believe, because we have got such a strong squad. And if we can keep players fit and healthy then those extra subs are going to be huge for us to maintain the energy levels and the high press.

“It is a good weapon for us to have. I am looking forward to this season."

The only negative from the evening for Bolton was Thomason being shown a straight red card late on, which Wanderers intend to appeal and both management teams expressed doubts over whether the dismissal was merited. Wanderers boss Evatt spoke of his admiration for the youngster and believes he will get over the incident after a bright showing otherwise on the night and is adamant it did not spoil the evening.

“I said to George that we are really proud of him. He is a young player and showed up really well, so I said not to let it spoil his night because it hasn’t spoiled ours.

"These things happen in football and it can really test your character and mental strength. But George is a wonderful young man with a great family behind him so he will soon get over that.”

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