WANDERERS boss Ian Evatt is pleased with his side’s start to pre-season but insists there is a lot of work ahead.

The Whites returned to the pitch with a 3-1 win at Longridge Town, which was followed by a 4-0 win at Atherton Colls on Tuesday night.

Evatt is particularly pleased to see Wanderers fans back in stadiums after 16 months of behind-closed-doors games with the build-up continuing at FC United of Manchester on Saturday. 

“I’ve enjoyed seeing fans at games again,” he said.

“I’ve enjoyed the fact that we’ve so far avoided injury, and I’ve enjoyed the fact that both games have posed two completely different problems and we’ve had to find solutions in both games. 

“We were behind at Longridge and couldn’t finish our dinner, and then on Tuesday played against a team which from minute one put 11 behind the ball, delayed the game, wasted time.

“And that was a frustration of ours last season and how to cope with that and deal with that and beat that.

“There’s still lots to work on, especially first half, but second half I thought we really clicked into gear, especially that last half an hour and got the goals we deserved, and some of our forward play rotations and combinations were excellent.” 

Coming up against non-league opposition usually means having lots of the ball, and Evatt admits this hasn’t been ideal for his defenders as they look to get ready for the rigours of League One. 

He added: “I think in the two games, I think our keeper probably had two shots to save at Longridge. I don’t remember anyone having a shot to save on Tuesday.

“That’s difficult for the defenders because ideally we’d like them to be challenged and tested. 

“I’ve had that conversation with our back players this morning, and it’s really difficult being a defender in a possession-based team because you have to concentrate all of the time on both sides of the game. 

“If your game is simplified, you’re there to defend and defend only - it’s easy to understand.

“But when you’ve got to flip between modes and make angles, build possession, step into midfield, break lines with your passes and then switch on to locking on to your centre forward, winning headers, winning physical duels - it’s quite a difficult thing to do.

“We’re trying to get our centre backs used to both sides of the game and flip between the two.”