IAN Evatt insists it is not as straightforward as simply using all five of the substitutes he now has at his disposal to manage his squad.

The EFL introduced the rule last month with player welfare in mind, as clubs including Wanderers look to manage their resources through a hectic campaign which has been condensed by the Covid-19 pandemic.

In the three games since the regulation change, the Bolton boss has used two, three and five changes respectively.

Evatt believes there is plenty to take into consideration and taking last weekend’s 3-0 win over Southend as an example, the Whites head coach did not make a triple change to complete his five allowed until five minutes from time having waited until his side had made the game safe.

“We saw the first little benefit on Saturday,” he said.

“I’d have preferred Nathan (Delfouneso) to be onside with one of his four goals, so that we could have made the changes earlier.

“It was the first time I was really able to say the game was done and dusted, let’s save some legs.

“I would like more of that in the future but games don’t work like that, they can be tight and it can be difficult to make changes.

“The hardest time in football to make a substitution is when you are winning and the game is close.

“If you change it and the opposition score, you look silly, if you leave it and get fatigued so the opposition score, you look daft as well.

“It’s easier to make changes when you are losing to affect the game, or if you are well ahead.

“When it is tighter then you have to be cautious.”

Wanderers, like a lot of clubs, have had to deal with numerous injury setbacks in the early weeks of the campaign, midfielder Andrew Tutte the latest player to be sidelined.

The strain on players was the main reason for the rule change, Evatt knowing that keeping the key components of his side together will be vital to being at the sharp end of League Two come the end of the season.

“It’s obviously really challenging and I think every team needs some good fortune when it comes to injuries,” he said.

“We didn’t have any good fortune earlier in the season and we’re still picking them up now, but if we can keep the spine of the team fit and healthy, then we’ll be okay.”

With more players being used on a match day, it opens up more opportunities for game-time for fringe members of the squad, and Evatt is pleased with what he’s seeing on the training ground at the moment.

“I think the ones out of the team are increasing their standards and the intensity of the training, which has pushed the other ones,” he said.

“All of a sudden it is a really competitive environment, which is exactly what we want. It wasn’t like that earlier in the season. In order for us to achieve what I want us to achieve then it needs everyone. People are understanding that now.”