IAN Evatt believes his decision to switch formations at Colchester United was fully justified.

The Wanderers head coach has explained why he tweaked the shape of his team in the 2-0 defeat at the JobServe Community Stadium.

With Antoni Sarcevic and Reiss Greenidge out injured, changes were forced on the Whites, who brought Jak Hickman in for his league debut and also added Ali Crawford to the midfield.

Evatt hinted that the formation switch was a reaction to last weekend’s defeat at Forest Green.

“We weren’t quite dominating the ball as I would have liked,” he said. “Sometimes when you have got three centre backs they are not as comfortable building attacks as a full-back or a midfield player, for example.

“So I wanted to take a centre-back out of the team, put an extra forward in there who would drop back into pockets of space and enable our full-backs to get higher up the pitch, use their pace and energy. I thought we could build attacks better using the midfield pivot and I thought we did that really well. We have only been working at it a week but I thought the results were good.

“I saw it last week and I think the decision has paid off. I know we lost another game, I know that’s tough to take, but that’s the best we have played for a long time. I’d challenge any Bolton fan to say we didn’t play well and didn’t deserve to win.

“We have to stay positive. It doesn’t matter where we are now, it matters in May.

“If we play like that for 44 games we’ll win a lot more than we lose.”

Speaking about Sarcevic’s absence – which is likely to be around three or four weeks – Evatt hopes other midfielders in his squad can now stake a claim.

“Of course it’s a blow for us because Sarce is a top player for us at this level,” he said.

“The lads who played I thought did well. Ali Crawford, Tom White and Brandon Comley completely dominated the midfield. They had so many touches of the ball, good possession.

“Yes, we’ll miss Sarce but it presents an opportunity for other players. We have Ronan Darcy on the bench, Andrew Tutte – good players competing for places.”

Although the Colchester defeat leaves Wanderers 21st in the League Two table, Evatt remains adamant that he saw enough in the performance to suggest better times are ahead.

“When you are on this type of run you seem to get punished for everything,” he said. “At the moment whenever anyone has an attempt on our goal it seems to hit the back of the net.

“But we have to swallow it and dust ourselves down. I’ll reiterate my message – that’s the first time that I really thought we’re getting somewhere. We are going to be a force to be reckoned with, and I think that performance showed it.

“Last week I was a bit down because I didn’t think we’d played the way we had trained.

“Here, I am actually really pleased. Nobody hates losing more than me but to see the way we played and moved good opposition around.”