Bolton Wanderers boss Ian Evatt on Sunderland loss, Lloyd Isgrove injury and run of results

Bolton Wanderers suffered back to back defeats in League One after a narrow loss at the hands of Sunderland at the Stadium of Light.

Wanderers went behind in the first half after Carl Winchester struck in the early stages of the encounter.

But Bolton ought to have got something out of the game, especially after the break with a much improved second half performance.

Eoin Doyle missed a free header from close range with a chance the striker would normally convert, which George Johnston lashed wide after meeting Dapo Afolayan’s cross as Wanderers ultimately slipped to defeat.

Aside from the result, a negative from the game was winger Lloyd Isgrove coming off in the second half after suffering a nasty head injury, which is poised to rule him out for 10 days owing to concussion protocols.

After the game, Wanderers manager Ian Evatt spoke to the press and here’s a transcript of his immediate reaction.

There was nothing wrong with it other than a goal?

“I’d like to start with how well we played. Everything was there in that performance bar the goal really.

“The way we played, the way we passed and beat the press, the way we had a team like that pinned for long spells and long periods and the chances we created, on another day we win that game like we beat Ipswich.

“It was a similar game to be honest and we probably created as many opportunities, just the last couple of weeks we haven’t taken them, but if we keep playing like that and I keep harping on about it, if we keep performing like that, you’ll win more than you lose and the hard part for us now is keeping that belief because we’ve had a couple of bad results.”

When does it become more of a disappointment and it switches to more of a concern?

“It doesn’t, because it becomes disappointing if we’re not performing and losing games, but if we keep performing, I know that results will come.

“This is a really tough run of games. We always knew this month was going to be difficult, but I think we’ve shown that we’re more than competitive.

“The whole second half, we had them pinned in. You could only hear our fans and that’s a mark of how well we’re playing.

“I’m sure anybody who watched that game will be proud of their team and proud of their performance because it’s a long time since Bolton Wanderers have come away from home to big places like this and dominated a game like that.”

It’s a big week, isn’t it. We’ve had a couple of tough games recently…

“Every week is a big week. This is a really tough period but in the face of adversity, and the adversity is only really coming from the results and not from anything else because you have to show true character and trust the process.

“If we keep playing like that, I know results will come.”

Lloyd Isgrove went off with what appeared to be a pretty nasty head injury – what’s the verdict on him?

“It’s just a 50-50 header really. They’ve both headed each other and Lloyd’s come off worse.

“He’s okay now but it’s a pretty nasty cut.”

You wiil be encouraged by that apart from the goal, you’ve come to Sunderland who are going to be up there everybody suspects come the end of the season, do you expect Bolton to be up there with them?

“Yes, absolutely, and I think if you ask every other manager and every other opposition player what they think of us, they’ll tell you the same. They say that we’ll be there or thereabouts this season because you’re a very good team.”

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