Wanderers began the Ian Evatt era with a late 2-1 defeat and a first round Carabao cup exit at the hands of Bradford City as the end of pre-season theme of sloppiness in defence meant that any attacking promise we showed at times, exemplified by captain Sarcevic’s well-taken goal, was in vain as we fell to a perhaps undeserved defeat.
The ease of Bradford’s two goals will worry Evatt as Lee Novak & Harry Pritchard were afforded a social distance on both occasions to score two easily worked and converted chances for the visitors. Ricardo Santos will be frustrated with his role in both goals as a positive display on the ball was negated by his lapses in concentration.
Wanderers had just over 60 percent of the ball but in all honesty their probing and patient style didn’t ruffle Stuart McCall’s troops feathers enough as Eoin Doyle struggled to hold up the ball when the impressive and hard working Delfouneso could not be found.
Tom White and George Taft stood out as very tidy on the ball and Sarcevic grew into the game after his side-footed effort injected confidence into his vein
Alas once the hammer blow of Novak’s free headed winner came to pass Bolton’s attempts to stick to Evatt’s instructions started to crumble as Baptiste particularly aimed the ball up to Doyle, who struggled to win anything aerially all game. Substitute and new signing Shaun Miller had an uneventful brief cameo as the Bantams constant but understandable time wasting put paid to the Whites’ attempts to get some late momentum going, something I imagine a crowd willing you on would certainly help with.
While there were certainly positives in terms of individual performances and some aspects of the teams tactical approach and cohesion, unless Evatt can remedy the defence’s tendency to switch off then for all the enterprising possession we might enjoy, we could be looking at a rather chastening honeymoon period.
Crewe up next in the EFL Trophy where Evatt might be tempted to mix things up.
If I were him I’d stick with pretty much the same line-up as the cohesion of the team can only improve with competitive action.