IAN Evatt has called for his Wanderers side to "play angry" without going a goal down to spark a reaction.

Bolton have one of the worst defensive records in League Two and have failed to win on the 15 occasions they have conceded the first goal.

That record includes Saturday's 2-1 defeat to rivals Tranmere Rovers, where they trailed as early as the fourth minute and played the last 15 minutes with 10 men, after central defender Ryan Delaney was sent off for two bookable offences.

But, while there was obvious disappointment at the outcome, Evatt was pleased with the response to the early goal, and also when Tranmere doubled their advantage from the penalty spot in the second half.

"There’s lots of character in the changing room and there’s lots of belief. I just wish that we could play angry like that from 0-0 and not wait for the opposition to score before we start to play in that tempo and that has to be mindset and mentality," said the Bolton boss.

"We’ve seen many times how we’ve reacted from going behind and we’ve come back strong in games and we finish strong in games. This is the thing and we speak about it a lot on the training pitch - if we’re in the game at 60 minutes, I always fancy us to go on and win it because the way we move the ball and move the opposition, they will fatigue, like they did do. And then we’ll start to create more and more as the game opens up.

"But at the minute, we’re not giving ourselves that chance, we’re behind at 60 minutes so we’re having to keep chasing and chasing whereas if we were level or in front, I think we’d go on to win comfortably and that’s the fine margins really that we’re looking at.

"I thought, to be fair, last week (against Cheltenham) we started the game excellently well and controlled it, most of the game bar a set piece. (On Saturday) we gave ourselves a poor start four minutes in conceding the goal and then again it was an uphill climb. But the way we dominated the second half was excellent, especially with 10 men.”

Ryan Delaney's dismissal was among the mitigating circumstances Evatt felt went against Wanderers in their fightback, as well as a foul on goalscorer Antoni Sarcevic that went unpunished when both sides had 11 men on the field.

"The (Manny) Monthe and Sarcevic one was baffling, really baffling because at 2-1 when we’re having all the play and all the chances, if they go down to 10 with the way we dominate possession, I think there’s only one outcome so that had a massive effect on the game," said Evatt, who was sent off after the final whistle after questioning referee Neil Hair.

"It’s a key match decision and that’s what I said to him when he sent me off. I said, ‘look, your key match decisions, you’ve got wrong today and you need to look at them’. He took offence to that and sent me off.

"I’d like to think that I’m always fair and honest and very rarely do I get things or say the wrong thing in terms of how I’m feeling and what I’ve seen. If I feel like we’ve been outplayed, I’ll say that, and if I feel like the referee has been good, I’ll say that as well, but today I think everyone will understand my frustration. We were on the wrong end of not just one bad decision but probably three or four.”