WANDERERS’ defeat against Newport certainly got the fans talking over the weekend – and not for the right reasons.

Still waiting for his first point as Bolton boss, Ian Evatt conceded that Saturday’s performance was well below par.

But what did we learn over 90 minutes, and what will Bolton fans be chatting about when they return to work and school this week?

Here are our Monday morning talking points...


Ricardo Santos’s Bolton Wanderers career has got off to a difficult start and the big centre-back suffered once more against Newport.

The former Barnet and Peterborough man won plenty in the air and looked to play out from the back, as Ian Evatt would want him to do, but defensively he struggled to keep tabs on a lively Exiles attack.

Newport have developed a reputation for grabbing goals at set pieces and in the first 25 minutes Santos was guilty of losing his marker on a couple of occasions.

His confidence appears to be suffering – and Evatt might well consider making changes with the likes of Ryan Delaney waiting in the wings.


Last year’s top scorer in League Two has looked isolated for the first three games of the season and the fact he touched the ball just once in the Newport penalty box tells you everything about how Saturday went.

He had just one shot on goal, from 22 yards out, and hardly had a sniff of opening his account for Bolton.

If you take out Doyle’s two restarts, he actually touched the ball fewer times than second-half substitute Andrew Tutte.


Combinations down the flanks were the undoubted highlight against Colchester, where despite the result there was at least something to take away from the performance.

Against Newport, on a wider playing surface, Jak Hickman, Nathan Delfouneso, Gethin Jones and Liam Gordon hardly got into the game at all.

Delfouneso’s disallowed goal came from a decent run down the left by Gordon – but otherwise the Newport full-backs had little to worry about.

Jones found himself pinned back by the attack-minded Ryan Haynes and Hickman, with whom he had worked so well seven days earlier, was a peripheral figure.


Ian Evatt was so frustrated with Wanderers’ inconsistency in quality between the training ground and a matchday, he compared his side to a bag of Revels.

The head coach had stuck up for his players in defeat at Colchester the previous weekend but could hardly hide his frustration on Saturday evening.

Wanderers last lost their opening five competitive games in 1963. Bill Ridding was in charge and the club was destined to lose its top-flight status for the first time in 29 years.


Wanderers’ poor start to the season has led many supporters to begin questioning the club’s summer recruitment policy and asking whether Evatt actually has the players to mount a promotion push?

Having made a big play of data-driven recruitment, Evatt has already switched his formation once to try and find the winning formula and left the stadium on Saturday night admitting he might need to make even more far-reaching changes.

It is early days in the season, of course, but Wanderers need to find a way to stabilise quickly.