GETHIN Jones reckons the Ian Evatt brand of ‘total football’ is finally starting to reap rewards at Wanderers.

The expansive style – modelled on that of Marcelo Bielsa’s Leeds United – has taken some time to bed down in League Two. But as Bolton claimed a third straight victory at Stevenage, moving four points off the play-offs in the process, Jones believes the approach is starting to pay dividends.

“It’s everyone working together as a group, on the ball, making angles for each other. I think when you do that, as we showed at the start of the game, we can rip teams apart,” he said.

“We knew it was going to take some time to gel together, signing 20-plus players, so it was always going to be a case of finding the right way to play, how to kill teams off. We’re bonding well now so we just need to keep that up and work hard in training.

“We’re working on murderball, which is very intense. It’s something Leeds do once a week and we want to play the exact same way. Once they lose the ball they hunt in packs and if we can do that as far up the pitch as possible we’ll claim our chances.

“We have been looking at that and it’s working for us.”

Jones has been a key figure in Wanderers’ recent revival, coming back from a six-week lay-off to play on the left side of defence – a labour-intensive position which saw him run more than 11km in last week’s win against Salford.

Patched-up again after the Stevenage win, the former Everton man said he was simply happy to be back after sustaining an ankle injury at Harrogate that threatened the keep him out until the New Year.

“I was devasted at the time, everything was going through my mind at that moment,” he said. “My fibula was swollen, we’d had two scans and an X-ray, but luckily it ended up okay and I was able to get back last week.

“I have always been good at keeping my fitness up, so it was just a case of the gaffer and the staff helping after the Salford game – I had an extra day off compared to the other lads for treatment – but I will give everything I can on matchday.

“I have played left wing-back before when I was on loan at Barnsley, and I know I am not left footed but I am comfortable on that side. Wherever the gaffer wants to play me, I’ll do a job for him. I’m just happy to be out there and playing.”

Wanderers head to Scunthorpe United tomorrow night looking to string together four wins for the first time since March 2017.

Confidence in the camp has understandably been boosted by the sharp upturn in performances and results but Jones knows focus must not be lost.

“The games coming up are looking good,” he said. “We want to win every game whether it’s top of the league or bottom – such as Salford or Stevenage.

“Everyone is made up at the moment and we’re coming into training with a big smile on our face. It’s different to what it was two or three weeks ago but we know we can’t let it slip.

“Games are coming thick and fast but with the way we’re playing at the moment we just want to bounce into every one.

“We said in the dressing room ‘let’s just crack on now, get back on the bus happy and start thinking about the Scunthorpe game.’ “Everyone is back fit now, working hard every day in training. You know if you don’t play well on a Saturday that someone will take your spot.”