Bolton Wanderers boss, Ian Evatt left the University of Bolton Stadium on Saturday afternoon with plenty to ponder, following another ‘frustrating’ afternoon on home soil, suffering a 1-0 defeat to Crawley Town.
After conceding to a George Francomb strike on the hour mark, the hosts enjoyed several great passages of play and created chance-after-chance in the final 25 minutes and could’ve, arguably scored six or seven goals in a dominant spell.
The Bolton boss was left to rue on what was a fantastic opportunity to kick off 2021 with a fantastic win, and a great performance.
“Gutted, I don’t think that we deserved to lose,” Evatt told bwfc.co.uk. “I think we should’ve scored six or seven goals in the final 25 minutes, and that isn’t exaggerating. We missed a lot of clear-cut opportunities and we’ve paid a heavy price for it.
“I thought we were excellent in the last 25 minutes, I think it’s the best we’ve played, in terms of moving the ball and creating opportunities. The most disappointing thing is that we’ve waited for them to score before we did that, and turned up the intensity, however I do think that we were dominating the half before they scored. It’s frustrating, but lots of positives to take, other than the fact that we’ve lost.
”If we can replicate that last 25 minutes with the change in shape that we did, we’ve got a ten-day window now to really work hard and get the content into the players that they need, and obviously make some additions that I think are going to be key t us, moving forwards.”
As far as the lack of cutting-edge in front of goal, despite the whites’ dominance in that 25- minute spell, Evatt ensures that his side should’ve won the match comfortably.
”Goals change games,” said Evatt. “ I think that if we’d have score one, we’d have gone on to win comfortably. Anyone that’s watched that game, will know. We’ve had 24 shots to their 3. Unfortunately for us, it was one of those games where we wouldn’t have scored in a month of Sunday’s, regardless of what we did.
“The crazy thing is that we’re still massively in it, this season. We are where we’re at right now, we understand that, and we’re hurting from that. But, there’s 25 games left, 25 big games where we can put some sort of consistency together and play like we did in the last 25 minutes, get some added personnel and quality into the squad. We have a chance, we still have a chance.”
Despite Bolton’s dominance in those final stages of the game, Evatt put it down to poor decision-making and lack of quality and composure.
”I think it’s down to decision-making, down to quality and composure. Because of where we’re at right now, we end up snatching at things. If the game was 0-0 and we were missing those chances, it would probably feel slightly more comforting than it does when you’re losing. When you’re losing, you end up snatching at opportunities, because you’re desperate to get back in the game.
“We snatched at a lot of opportunities, we’ve missed from two, three yards out, which, you know, is inexplicable at times, but it is what it is. I’d be more worried if we’d lost the game without creating anything. As I said, we’ve had 24 shots and nine times out of ten, we win that game and win it comfortably.”
Evatt’s side face a midweek trip to Exeter City in just over a weeks time, but as the boss eluded to, there are many positives to take from a frustrating afternoon’s work.