IAN Evatt left his Wanderers in no doubt that their second-half rescue act at FC United had not been enough to paint over a poor performance.

George Johnston snatched an equaliser in stoppage time to deny the Rebels a deserved pre-season win.

But that was not enough to spare Bolton a dressing down from the manager, who felt let down by his players on the day.

“Credit to them (FC United), they were excellent,” he said. “I thought they were brilliant and deserved to win the game – but my lads have just been told in no uncertain terms that it was unacceptable,” he said.

“I am actually embarrassed for them. Fortunately, it was a pre-season game. I am not having the excuse that they have worked hard all week and run around or trained more physically.

“They are part-time and yet they had more energy than us.

“For me, it’s between their ears. They need to want it more.”

Asked if he could take anything from 90 minutes contested in boiling conditions at Broadhurst Park, the Wanderers boss added: “There wasn’t a single positive from that, not one. I am not taking any positives because my standards are higher than that. This club’s standards are higher than that. The positives are with them, so congratulations.

Fc United went ahead shortly after half time when a trialist striker capitalised on a poor touch from goalkeeper Joel Dixon to pass into the empty net.

The home side created a couple of other reasonable opportunities, too, whereas Wanderers struggled to get their passing game going at all.

Evatt was caught on film at Atheron giving his players a rollocking and had also appeared on the club’s summer documentary giving the half-time ‘hairdryer’.

But the Bolton boss says he is not afraid to let his squad know when they have failed to hit his own high standards.

“For some of them, that is the first time they have seen me like that,” he said. “And if you think the half-time team-talk at Atherton or the one against Stevenage was me being harsh, then they have got a bit of a rude awakening coming.

“We will sift through the debris and find out what we did wrong on Monday, technically and tactically, but for now, we must make sure we do the basics of football better. Running, first and foremost, winning duels, winning second balls, winning headers, winning tackles.

“We got run over the top and bullied, quite frankly.”

Wanderers had won both their previous pre-season games with a second-half flood of goals but never looked likely to do the same against their Northern Premier opponents.

Evatt refused to excuse the performance, even if it happened in pre-season.

“Football is a game full of excuses and if you give football players excuses, they hang onto them.

“There’s no excuses for that. Our standards are better than that. They have to understand that and they will understand that because I don’t care if it’s a pre-season friendly, I don’t care if they’ve ran their socks off yesterday and they’re physically tired and drained and it’s hot. I don’t care about excuses, we just need to be better.”