Ian Evatt reckons Bolton can achieve promotion from Sky Bet League One provided they can replicate the performance of their 5-0 demolition against shell-shocked Oxford.

Josh Dacres-Cogley scored on his 28th birthday with further goals coming from Nathaniel Ogbeta, George Thomason, Aaron Collins and Josh Sheehan.

“If we can replicate that eight more times we won’t have too much to worry about,” said Evatt as Bolton stay hard on the heels of the top two – Portsmouth and Derby.

“That is what I want my team to look like,” added Evatt. “When they play like that, it makes me a proud manager.

“Everyone knows we are capable of that performance, we have got to do it more and more.

“We have been asked a lot of questions and it is up to us to come up with the answers. And the players know if they dip below those standards I will tell them.”

Ogbeta set Bolton on the way to victory with a sweet 19th-minute strike from Thomason’s pass.

Dacres-Cogley was gifted a present of his celebratory goal. Goaleeper Jamie Cumming and defender Greg Leigh collided attempting to deal with a long ball from Ricardo Santos and the full-back fired into an empty net.

Thomason’s long-range strike took a deflection past Cumming, but there was no mistaken identity as Collins finished off a flowing passing move to make it 4-0 and register Bolton’s 100th goal of the season in all competitions.

Man of the match Sheehan curled in a superb fifth goal after 69 minutes.

“We don’t score tap ins or scruffy goals,” said Evatt. “I am so proud of the players.

“Our focus in and out of possession was great and we looked sharp with the ball. When this team is at its fluid best we are a good team to watch.”

Oxford boss Des Buckingham admitted the result was a “difficult one to take” as they suffered a third defeat in their last four games.

“It is not something I saw coming,” Buckingham admitted. “Bolton played extremely well, but we played poorly and that’s the reality of it.

“We will get to the bottom of it. I don’t want to jump to things right now. I need to take the emotions out of the situation.

“The scoreline isn’t a true reflection of who we are and what we are. We will make sure we delve deep to ensure it does not happen again.

“If you get beaten anywhere 5-0, it is an embarrassment. It is difficult one to take, even more so because we were on TV trying to showcase what we do and how we do it and showcase Oxford across the country.

“We couldn’t do that across any area and we made it very easy for them at times.”

Aaron Collins opened his Bolton goalscoring account but manager Ian Evatt believes the best is yet to come from the former Bristol Rovers star.

Collins’ 66th-minute strike sealed a 2-0 victory for promotion hunting Wanderers, bouncing back after successive defeats to Blackpool and Wigan.

George Thomason set Evatt’s side on the way to a badly needed win with his fifth of the campaign 10 minutes from the break.

“It was important for Aaron to get off the mark so I am pleased for him,” said Evatt.

“To come to a massive club with a large price tag for the level and the huge weight of expectation is sometimes a difficult thing to do.

“Aaron has moved away from home and living in and out of hotels can be tough. He needs time to settle down.

“In the second half we saw more of the Aaron Collins of what we are going to see in the future. He has real quality but we haven’t seen the best of him.”

Evatt finally managed a smile after a week he described as feeling “like a lifetime. It’s been a harsh few days but the players responded great.

“The only criticism is we want more reward for our good play and hard work.

“We deserved more goals and could have made it more comfortable for everyone. But the win is the most important thing.”

Thomason’s goal was his fifth of the season but he later took an unwanted piece of club history.

His 70th-minute challenge on James Brophy yielded a 17th yellow card of the campaign, one more than the record he previously shared with El Hadji Diouf.

Brophy went closest to equalising for otherwise-disappointing Cambridge just before the hour.

The miss was compounded when Collins turned in Paris Maghoma’s pass six minutes later and then had another effort kicked off the line.

“We did as much as we could,” said United interim boss Barry Corr. “You have to respect the opponent.

“They ask loads of questions of you and create overloads all over the pitch.

“In the first half we were pinned into a lower block and maybe became passive. But in terms of effort and application they were spot on.

“The better team won, however the result away to Bolton isn’t going to determine our season.”

Corr has been in temporary charge for three games since Neil Harris’s shock return to Millwall.

“The players need some stability and (a new manager) will definitely help them,” Corr added. “I would imagine it will be from Monday.”

Former Swansea and Leeds boss Garry Monk is the favourite to take over.

Ian Evatt called George Thomason’s stunning match winner “very special” as Bolton’s fifth straight Skybet League One victory was made in Blackpool.

Midfielder Thomason, let go by the Seasiders at 16, netted a superb 74th-minute strike to the delight of ex-Bloomfield Road favourite, Evatt, with the Tangerines beaten 1-0.

“Football throws up these stories sometimes,” said the Bolton boss who earned promotion to the Premier League during his seven-year career on the Fylde Coast.

“For a young boy to be released by Blackpool and score the winner for Bolton is something very special.

“I am very proud of him. But I am proud of them all because that was a very tough game.

“That club (Blackpool) is dear to my heart but so is this one. There is nobody happier than me that we won that game “

Bolton did not have things all their own way with Karamoko Dembele hitting a post, Matt Pennington heading wide and CJ Hamilton failing to convert James Husband’s second-half cross.

“What an advert for League One football,” enthused Evatt after a derby watched by 24,238 fans.

“I thought it was such a high-quality game, two teams that are good with and without the ball.

“I thought we shaded it, to be honest, had the better chances, and we raised the tempo second half.

“The togetherness in the group, the people they are, they are amazing. I can’t wait to get back out on the grass with them again on Monday. It excites me working with this group of players.”

Pool chief manager Neil Critchley reckoned he had been more annoyed after seeing his team win this season.

But he remained upset a potential handball by Thomason was not punished with a penalty by referee Ben Toner.

“It was a good game played between two good teams in the right spirit,” he said echoing Evatt’s words. “It took a fantastic strike from outside the box to decide it.

“I can’t fault the way we played or the effort. I have been angrier after some of the games we have won this season.

“I am disappointed to lose any game. It is a horrible feeling and with the following we had who got right behind the team you want to send them home happy.

“Performance wise though, we contributed to a good game. We knew they were in form but I thought we more than matched them.

“There wasn’t anything in it really. We just didn’t work their keeper when we created our chances.

“But For me there was a clear handball and penalty. The referee can see it, he should give it but he didn’t.

“One big decision he had to make he got it strong. You need those things to go for you in game of fine margins.”

One-time Bloomfield Road youngster George Thomason scored a spectacular 74th-minute winner to earn in-form Bolton a 1-0 Skybet League One win over Blackpool in front of 24,238 at the Toughsheet Community Stadium.

And Wanderers’ sixth successive win in all competitions was extra special for boss Ian Evatt who spent seven years as a player with the Seasiders, helping them into the Premier League.

Now, Evatt, who picked up a late booking, has sights set on taking the Trotters into the Championship.

But the home side were second best for large parts of the opening half. Karamoko Dembele curled a shot against a post after only three minutes as Neil Critchley’s team relished its task of trying to take down Bolton’s winning run.

However, the Trotters grew into the contest and Randell Williams hit the woodwork with a free-kick before forcing Dan Grimshaw into an unconvincing save.

Bolton, who had not previously beaten Blackpool in the league since 2014, remained in the ascendancy with Grimshaw twice denying top scorer Dion Charles.

CJ Hamilton squandered a great chance for the visitors after 69 minutes via James Husband’s cross before Thomason broke the deadlock with a rising left-

foot drive from 20 yards.

Paris Maghoma and Aaron Morley helped Bolton go five matches unbeaten in all competitions after a 2-0 win over Shrewsbury.

The Trotters dominated the ball for large parts and went close to opening the scoring after 20 minutes.

George Thomason laid the ball off to Victor Adeboyejo in the box before he spun and shot, but his effort flew over the bar.

Bolton broke the deadlock in the 66th minute through Maghoma, whose long-range effort from 20 yards out managed to trickle through the palms of Marko Marosi.

The Shrews had their first shot on target saved with just under 15 minutes remaining. Daniel Udoh slipped in Tom Bayliss, whose goalbound effort was claimed by Nathan Baxter.

The away side were inches away from doubling their advantage when Josh Darces-Cogley drilled a low cross into Dan Nlundulu in the final stages.

The forward turned it goalward, but substitute goalkeeper Harry Burgoyne kept the ball out magnificently with his leg.

Bolton confirmed all three points in stoppage time when Morley placed it into the bottom corner.

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