A late George Johnston equaliser handed Ian Evatt’s Bolton side a 1-1 draw against FC United on Saturday – a result and performance that left the boss a little concerned.
The Trotters were one of the most in-form teams during last season’s run-in, securing promotion to League One on the final day of the season.
Evatt, who last year started somewhat of a rebuilding project at Bolton, now enters a highly competitive League One competition and will be hopeful of enjoying another positive season in front of the returning fans.
However, Saturday’s pre-season friendly against the sixth-tier club left Evatt rather unhappy and concerned ahead of tomorrow night’s match against Championship club Preston.
Speaking to Bolton News, the 39-year-old outlined that an improvement is needed: “We need to be better than that, if we are not better than that we will get our bums felt, so we must make sure that we are much improved on Tuesday night,” he said.
“I am sure we will be, but for now they need to understand and go home knowing that isn’t acceptable for BoltonWanderers.”
Given the expected competitive nature of League One next season, Evatt needs a good pre-season where he can be confident of his squad going in.
However, blips in performance is what pre-season is about. It is much better to get a bad performance out of the way now and learn from it than to start the season poorly.
Nine new arrivals have been brought in at Bolton and they will take time to gel. However, Evatt is a demanding manager who looks to fire his players up, and the early stages of his managerial career thus far, suggest that he gets the result required by approaching football this way.
Tomorrow night’s friendly will be extremely telling. If Bolton can react positively to Saturday’s setback, then that will be very pleasing for Evatt.