WHICH piece will fill the midfield jigsaw for Wanderers against Port Vale has yet to be decided – but Ian Evatt is confident someone will step forward to complete the puzzle.

Whether Tom White, Brandon Comley or George Thomason get the nod on Saturday will depend very much on how they trained in the two sessions which followed the manager’s pre-match press conference.

At that stage, Evatt said he was still unsure which of the midfielders would step in for the injured Tutte against Vale and become the first alteration to a side that has remained impressively unchanged in the last three games.

Ronan Darcy is viewed as more of an alternative to Ali Crawford in an advanced role, leaving Evatt with three obvious options ahead of the match.

“Obviously I know Tom White very well from my time at Barrow last year and do I think we have seen the best of him yet? No, definitely not. And there are a few reasons behind that,” he said.

“But it’s up to Tom to get to the levels I know he can get to. It’s similar for Brandon, who was great in pre-season, fantastic, but he has dipped again and we have had conversations about getting him back to where I believe he should be.

“And then we have got George Thomason, who has come back from loan. A very good young player who has a bright future.

“There are options. Ronan is more attacking, the role has more defensive responsibility, so it’s more difficult for someone who wants to attack and get forward. Again, Ronan has done great in training and when he comes on in games he’s doing fantastically well.

“We have got some good options but it’s down to the players to grasp an opportunity, day in, day out, on the training pitch. They have to show me they are at it, playing with the right intensity and quality and then when you get an opportunity on Saturday, take it, because you know there are people waiting in the wings.”

Tutte will be a loss to Bolton, whose six league wins so far in League Two have all come when the Liverpudlian started the game.

“He has experience, he’s a leader and a talker, so it isn’t ideal him being out,” Evatt admitted. “But the others should know.

“Tom White played for me last year so he should understand what I expect. He just needs to get himself back to the form I know he can get to.

“Having Matt Gilks on the pitch is massive for us as well. He’s one of my coaches but also still a fantastic goalkeeper who can recognise and send out the messages that I want. He knows where I want the players to be on the pitch, and it’s different to me being on the side-line.”

Wanderers found it tough to break down a stubborn Southend in the first half last Saturday, and Evatt accepts that visiting teams to the UniBol will increasingly sit deep as his side continue to rebuild their form and climb the table.

“Scunthorpe was the first game where they completely changed the formation of what we had looked at and worked on, tried to match us up, go man-for-man and play the same shape we did to stop us. That’s credit to us in some ways because we’re starting to gain that reputation,” he said.

“On Saturday, every other game we’d seen Southend attack from the front, really press with the energy they have got in the team, but again that didn’t happen. They gave use that respect and allowed us to build from the back.

“That poses different questions – and the important thing from my perspective as a manager is that we give players different looks at the opposition. They know if they are pressing high, this is what I want, and if they are going into a deep block, this is what I want.

“We have layered that over time. And with the fixture list being as it is, there isn’t a lot of time to get that much work into players, so it’s down to them to remember the information and education we have given them at the time rather than having to wait for half time and me to say ‘this is what they are doing, this is what we need to do’.

“That happened on Saturday a bit. We need to figure it out for ourselves and ask where the space is, who has it, and how we get the ball to them.

“We have worked on that all along but you can’t forget the basic stuff. It’s a bit like building a Jenga tower block, you remove the bottom blocks and it all falls down. You must remember the process we have been learning from the start of pre-season.”