WANDERERS are determined to time the first-team return of Lloyd Isgrove and Shaun Miller right in order to avoid either player spending longer on the sidelines.

Though it has been tempting to push Isgrove – who is marginally ahead of Miller on the comeback trail – into the squad for today’s game at Cambridge, Ian Evatt has said he has resisted for the winger’s longer-term benefit.

Isgrove managed just one substitute appearance against Newport County, having been signed on the day of the game. But he quickly picked up muscular problems associated with a long lay-off, as his previous competitive football had been at Swindon Town in March.

Wanderers are keen to re-establish the partnership that flourished at the County Ground in last season’s promotion campaign, where Isgrove was a big factor in Eoin Doyle’s goal-laden spell.

Likewise, Miller showed promise in his two appearances thus far for Wanderers, which included a goal against his former club Crewe Alexandra.

The 32-year-old has now had treatment to calm a nerve in his calf which was acting up but scans have shown no need for further treatment.

Both players returned to Lostock this week after going through an intensive fortnight of training to bring them up to similar fitness levels as the rest of the group.

Evatt explained that he will take caution before introducing them into the first team again.

“I think they need another week to make them robust enough,” he told The Bolton News.

“I have said it many times, to play this way you have to be really fit. You have to be.

“The last three or four games we’ve averaged 65/66 per cent of possession, so that means you are having to work hard with the ball and without it.

“They are not robust enough yet to be thrown in because I don’t trust that they won’t break down. We can’t afford that to happen and we’ll give them the time they need, probably another week, two max.

“Lloyd is ahead of Shaun at the moment but they are both doing really well. Shaun had another scan on his calf which showed more of a neural problem and had an epidural. It’s not like he’s giving birth but he’s numbing the pain.”

Wanderers were back on the road yesterday, staying overnight before their game at the Abbey Stadium.

The mood around the group picked up as a result of Antoni Sarcevic’s late equaliser at Barrow on Tuesday night, a point which Evatt hopes can have a positive influence on changing this season’s fortunes.

But after reviewing the 90 minutes with his players there were areas that clearly require improvement and he hopes that the journey home from Cambridgeshire will allow him to reflect on a performance and three points.

“It was more satisfaction than happiness,” he said of the aftermath of Tuesday night’s game. “I was satisfied we came back from where we were and showed resilience that I was questioning. I said the same thing to the players as I said to you – there was a huge question mark over the players and whether they had that character. They showed me that they have it, which is great.

“But when you score three goals away from home, or even at home, you should be winning games. But we didn’t. There’s lots to work on.

“We are not happy with Barrow, we’re satisfied, and it’s about keeping on with the bits that are pleasing but also tightening up the things we are not getting right.

“This season the only thing we can really count on is the inconsistency. We get it right at the back, something isn’t working up front. We score goals, we’re making mistakes at the back. It needs to come together.

“The players are angry at themselves, as so they should be, but we have to go there Saturday and perform as well as we possibly can. If we do then I am more than confident we’ll get a result at Cambridge.”