IAN Evatt wants his Wanderers to play like champions – but fight like the underdogs.

After struggling to overcome Grimsby Town on home turf last weekend, the visit of rock-bottom Oldham Athletic is another potential pitfall for the Whites boss to negotiate.

Evatt insists his side is improving, and an unbeaten start to October backs up his view, but he admits there is plenty of scope for improvement in attack after a toothless display against the Mariners.

He denies that over-confidence came into play against Grimsby – who were themselves propping up the EFL when they arrived at the UniBol – but hopes his side can show the sort of mettle they did at Harrogate a week earlier in claiming their first victory of the campaign.

“I don’t think last weekend was being lulled into any false sense of security, I think it was literally about quality in the final third,” he told The Bolton News.

“Tee to green we played well. Another golf saying is ‘drive for show, putt for dough’ and we looked great until the final third, then we need to be more clinical.

“We need to be more ruthless, make better decisions, get more bodies in the box, no doubt. If we can do that I am confident we can win any game.

“We’re Bolton Wanderers and any game in this division for us is a banana skin. Everyone wants to beat us. But every time we go out there we have to strip back the ego and the arrogance and fight. We have to raise our levels against the opposition because they will always raise them against us.”

Evatt believes his style of play is now starting to bed down on a squad which includes 20 new signings and, in possession and defence at least, he was happy with a lot he saw last weekend.

He looks set to continue with the patient approach which struggled to break down Grimsby but has worked with his players this week to ensure there is a better final product.

“When you are a possession-based football team, normally the magic number is 60 minutes. After that, teams start to tire and you have to take advantage of the space that should open up, and the mistakes teams can make defensively,” he said.

“We didn’t do that against Grimsby. Our final ball, final pass just wasn’t good enough.

“We had 118 final third entries in that game. That’s 118 in one game. So to not really create anything is bitterly disappointing and quite strange, really, but we will work hard to change that and have done this week.

“It was one of those games where our attacking players weren’t firing but it will happen and we have to respond.

“I think what Grimsby did to Cheltenham and Harrogate to Bradford since shows you they are no mugs, they are decent teams.

“We more or less dominated apart from the first 10 and last two against Grimsby and against Harrogate we deserved to win, I think. It shows we’re going in a positive direction.

“We’ve got another game this weekend that I think we can win. All being well it could be seven points from three games and then nobody is questioning which direction we are going in.”