20 January 2024

‘We got what we deserved’ says Bolton boss Ian Evatt after away loss

20 January 2024

Bolton boss Ian Evatt gave an honest assessment following his side’s 1-0 defeat to Leyton Orient in Sky Bet League One.

Promotion hopefuls Bolton, who started the match two points off the top of the table and with two matches in hand, should have taken the lead in the first half when leading scorer Dion Charles headed against a post.

However, the visitors paid the price when Dan Agyei netted the only goal of the game in the 54th minute, his third in as many matches, to give Orient the points.

Evatt, who was impressed with his team’s display in Tuesday’s FA Cup replay loss to Luton, said: “I’m very disappointed and I think we got what we deserved.

“They didn’t create lots but played the conditions better and showed more fight, more determination and a willingness to do the ugly side of the game better than we did.

“Some of our decision making and execution was baffling after Tuesday, when it was the opposite.

“I made five substitutions but I wish I could have made 11. If I could have made 11 changes then I would have.”

He continued: “I wasn’t happy with anybody. We made the wrong choices and showed the wrong body language.

“Very rarely am I disappointed with that group of players to the extent I am today.

“Having said all that we still had the best two chances in the game, which you cannot afford to miss. Both gilt edge, right in front of goal with no pressure and one on one. We saw that at Portsmouth and we saw that again today.”

In contrast, Orient assistant manager Matt Harrold was understandably upbeat after his team stretched their unbeaten league run to five matches, a run that includes four victories.

He said: “We’re really thrilled with the result. We’ve looked a really good team (in the) last six games.

“We need to stay aggressive and keep it going. We were really positive, it was a dominant performance despite them having the best two chances of the game.

“We had to stay patient with Dan Agyei having picked up the long-term injury pre-season but his return has been a massive boost for everyone.

“We need to keep him fit and he can go from strength to strength. He’s got that strength, power and unpredictability so we need him to keep going.

“Credit to the overall team though. We’re working hard and stopping the opposition from higher up the pitch, which means we’re not conceding too many chances.

“The big emphasis has been ‘let’s get back to what we are on the front foot, physical and aggressive’.

“There are a lot of games in February and March and the squad is going to be needed and we will attack each game as it comes.”

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