WANDERERS slumped to defeat on their first league outing of the season – but how concerned should supporters actually be?

Ian Evatt has now seen his new group of players beaten on three successive occasions, proving that grafting his new style of play on the club will not be a walk in the park.

But what did the 1-0 defeat against Forest Green Rovers actually teach us? Here’s what we think Bolton fans will be discussing around a post-match pint tonight.


Wanderers want to play possession football – but they have to pass with a purpose.

Too often they were pushing the ball around outside their own penalty area with little damage caused to Forest Green – and when they did push forward, the quality of pass was not good enough.

Things improved when Ali Crawford was introduced, the Scot always looking to play a forward pass and break the lines. Food for thought for head coach, Ian Evatt?


Eoin Doyle was last season’s top goal-scorer in League Two, bagging 26 for Swindon Town. And he certainly hasn’t lost the touch overnight.

But the Whites cannot rely on him alone. They allowed his early miss to affect them and it took the introduction of Crawford in the second half for them to look anything like potent in attack again.

Doyle looks frustrated and probably will until the goals start to flow. Evatt will be hoping that it sooner rather than later.


Too much of Bolton’s football in the first half was tense and forced.

If Evatt’s brand is to work, the players need to relax a little more on the ball and trust their ability, demand the ball.

Credit to Forest Green, they minimised the space available to Bolton in midfield, but Wanderers have to be braver in possession than this.


It feels as though Wanderers’ players are struggling without the natural backing of a crowd – even in a negative sense.

The first half didn’t sparkle. But had the players been subjected to the ‘scrutiny’ we know a Bolton crowd is capable of giving to their team, it might just have kicked them into gear.

For a few games now the team has looked passive. They need to find their own impetus.


It is plan daft to think that a few poor results at the start of a season will guarantee a poor season.

Evatt needs time and patience for his plan to work, and his players deserve some time to learn the ropes.

It is frustrating, to say the least, and poor performances like this should be scrutinised but there should also be a sense of perspective. What is it they say about marathons and sprints?