“We want the stadium rocking!” – Ian Evatt looking to fans for promotion boost

With Derby County in action at home to Reading, any slip from the Rams presents a chance for Ian Evatt’s side to leapfrog them into second before the two sides meet at Pride Park on Saturday.

Wanderers are coming towards the end of a punishing run of fixtures which have taken their toll on the squad, with striker Victor Adeboyejo the latest player to pick up an injury which rules him out for at least a month.

Evatt hopes another bumper home crowd and the presence of the Sky Sports cameras can give his players the extra few per cent needed to get a result.

“Everyone needs to be together. I have said that a lot, and there has never been a more important time for it to happen,” he said.

“On Tuesday night I want us to create such an intimidating intense atmosphere, I want this stadium to be rocking from start to finish and give the lads their all.

“I will make sure the players give them their all in return, and hopefully we can get the right result, we have to be ready and at it.”

Evatt hopes to keep his side within striking distance of Derby by the close of play on Saturday, which will give his side the international break to rest up, and attack the final seven games of the season.

The likes of Nathan Baxter and Dion Charles could be involved in the run-in, if they get the all-clear from doctors in the coming days.

Including the two abandoned games against Cheltenham and Cambridge United, this will be the 21st game of 2024 for Bolton, a heavy schedule which has even taken a toll on Evatt himself.

“Being a manager is always tough, there is no question about that,” he said. “And it has been tough because of the sheer volume of games – you don’t really get a minute, it is just relentless.

“We have had nine Saturday-Tuesdays now and Premier League managers are moaning at how many games they are playing, I’d like them to take a look at our schedule!

“That is tough, the injuries are tough, but we are still very much in the mix. I always felt that if we could manage this spell and get to the international break in touch then we would have a great opportunity to get the job done.

“This is a big week, we can’t shy away from that, but we are there or thereabouts.”

Dropped points at Exeter City at the weekend surrendered a slight advantage to Derby and allowed the likes of Peterborough to draw closer in the chase for the top two.

Evatt insists his team is very much still in the hunt and will not allow any of the perceived misfortune to distract them.

“We have to take responsibility for ourselves, own our own space,” he said. “We face challenges, absolutely, but I think if you can overcome them it makes the reward all the sweeter.

“We are suffering but we are giving it our all and that is all anyone can ask. We have a brilliant opportunity still and we have been in the top three for the last 25 weeks, so we have to get the job done. We are there fighting and we will fight to the very end.”

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