WANDERERS have more scope to use their bench at Stevenage this afternoon – and Ian Evatt believes plenty of players are ready to make an impact.

Having changed his entire side for the Papa John’s Trophy victory over Newcastle United’s Under-21s on Tuesday night, the Whites boss is expected to largely go back to the side that saw off Salford 2-0 in their last League Two outing.

For the first time at the Lamex Stadium, Evatt is able to use five of his seven substitutes with the EFL confirming the regulation change this week after player welfare concerns expressed by many in the game, including the Bolton head coach.

And should he need to switch things around today, Evatt believes he will not be short of choices to change the game against struggling Boro.

“All of a sudden we’re looking at the bench and we can see that we can impact games,” the Wanderers boss said as his side look to make it three wins in eight days.

“The team more or less picked itself for the early part of the season, just because we never had everyone fit and available and didn’t have the options that we’ve now got.

“The hard part is to keep them all in one piece.

“Obviously with the five subs that starts to help that we can manage workloads better and when it’s Saturday-Tuesday, Saturday-Tuesday, the more players you have available means the more you can freshen things up if you need to, because the way we want to play and the end game with what I see and how I want our team to be, it is physically demanding and tough so you’re going to need fresh legs and you’re going to need to have energy.

“Having everyone fit and competing for the first 11 shirts is definitely important.”

Among those to get a chance against the Toon kids and help Wanderers finish their Trophy campaign with an impressive comeback was Arthur Gnahoua, the former Macclesfield Town man scoring his first goal for the club as Evatt’s men came from 2-0 down to win 3-2.

“Obviously when you’re an attacking player it’s always nice to get on the scoresheet,” said Evatt.

“Arthur came in and had an initial impact. We were light on bodies upfront. I don’t think he’s necessarily a centre forward but he did a job for us there.

“He’s suffered a bit because Lloyd’s (Isgrove) back, Shaun Miller’s back, Eoin Doyle’s back, Nathan’s (Delfouneso) fit, so all of a sudden he’s found his way down the pecking order but it’s down to him to fight and when he came on on Tuesday, to get a goal and to have the contribution that he did have is good for him and it shows me that he’s definitely ready to play when called upon.”

George Thomason also impressed off the bench on debut, Evatt believing the 18-year-old midfielder is ready to fight for a spot having been toughened up during a loan spell with Bamber Bridge in the Northern Premier League.

“He was recalled for a number of reasons,” said the Wanderers boss.

“Number one is he’s not playing any football at the moment, so there’s no point him being out on loan.

“With the lockdown, steps below the National League have been cancelled so there was no point him staying out on loan and not being available for us.

“Number two is we feel like we’ve got what we needed out of that loan. His physical development has been good but his performances have been excellent and, no disrespect to that level, but he’s too good for that level. We need to progress him higher.

“Myself and (assistant boss) Peter Atherton have loved George from minute one.

“The way he received the ball in tight areas, the way he sees a pass, his movement and his positional sense for that midfield role, he probably gets it better than everybody in terms of his positioning.

“We just had to develop his physical attributes to get up to be speed to be able to cope with the rigmaroles of League Two football.

“We feel he’s getting there and he came on Tuesday for 15 to 20 minutes and showed everybody what a lovely footballer he is and will be with us for the foreseeable future.”