IAN Evatt hopes Tuesday’s night winning display against Preston North End will be just an appetiser of an enjoyable season at Wanderers.

More than a thousand Bolton fans packed into the County Ground at Leyland to see the Whites put in a good account of themselves, with Gethin Jones scoring the only goal of the game.

Evatt was delighted with the atmosphere on the night and hopes the same mood can be replicated on a grander scale at the University of Bolton Stadium on plenty of occasions this season.

“I must say, it was an absolute delight to listen to our fans and listen to our crowd,” he said. “Believe it or not, this was supposed to be a Preston home fixture and it definitely sounded like ours.

“When we get that sort of support and backing, they can see live what we’re trying to do on the pitch, they must be very proud of their team which is what we want to do.”

Evatt had been critical of his team’s performance in a 1-1 draw against Northern Premier League FC United on Saturday, insisting his players should have been “embarrassed” after the final whistle.

He had little room for complaint at Leyland, however, as Bolton created several excellent opportunities and kept up their unbeaten run during pre-season.

“I said on Saturday that I didn’t fear for this game because we had to be up for it,” he said. “That looked like my team. I’m really happy. I thought we were excellent. I thought the way we moved the ball, after the first 10 minutes, I thought we caused them no end of problems. I’m really pleased.”

Asked if the quality of performance was a reaction to the dressing down he gave players at FC United on Saturday, Evatt added: “Only the players will know that really. They understood that in no uncertain terms that was not acceptable on Saturday.

“We set ourselves much higher standards than that and when you dip below them, they know about it and they get told and that is the kind of group we have.

“We are honest, we are open. I am honest with you guys (the media) and I always tell you how I am feeling, and they understood that.

“We backed that up with the data and the stats on Monday and then there is nowhere for them to go. There are no excuses, and that is what we are trying to do here.

“We are trying to take excuses off the table and make sure that we are bang at it every game, and if we play like that, we are going to be a handful for most teams.”