It didn’t matter how we won – Ian Evatt hails 100th victory as Bolton boss

By Sports Desk December 23, 2023

Relieved Ian Evatt hailed the importance of getting over the line after sealing his 100th victory as Bolton boss against Leyton Orient.

Bolton were 3-0 up inside 10 minutes, but they were a couple of stoppage-time blocked shots from allowing Orient to claim the unlikeliest of points.

“It didn’t matter how we won, we had to win,” said Evatt, who had been marooned on 99 wins after back-to-back losses to Portsmouth and Bristol Rovers.

“All of a sudden, you lose two games and you are the worst team in the league and everything is chaos.

“But at the end of the season all you see is three points. That is all the matters.

Evatt added: “It is one of those games people can pick holes, but the win was the important thing.

“It is amazing how quickly you lose confidence from negative results and I felt there were some nerves in the second half.

“The first half we were scintillating at times and when Dion (Charles) missed his chance before half-time, no one could imagine the effect that could have on the game.

“In the second half we didn’t react to their changes. They went direct and aggressive, but the boys dug deep and found a way to win.”

Josh Dacres-Cogley put Bolton ahead after two minutes before Dion Charles seized on a Jordan Brown mistake to register his 16th goal of the campaign. The Northern Ireland international then played in George Thomason to score at the second attempt.

But goals inside five second-half minutes from Shaq Forde and Theo Archibald put the result in doubt until the final whistle.

“It is a tough place to come, it’s even tougher when you are 3-0 down after 10 minutes,” said Orient boss Richie Wellens.

“The first 10 minutes we were awful. Some of the young lads were like rabbits in the headlights. Then we recovered well.

“The last 25 minutes of the first half we were the better team. In the second half, it was all one-way traffic.

“If we get a goal with six or seven minutes left, I thought they were done. But credit them for holding on.

“We are a club that is trying to get to where Bolton are. Bolton should never be a League One club.

“But we can’t start like that. I would love to be their manager. With that squad, I win the league. But we are where we are.

“Our supporters need to be patient and go through the process. We have to respect they are a really good side with good players that have been built over two or three years.”

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