WANDERERS defender Gethin Jones was pleased with the positive reaction in their friendly win over Preston North End.

Ian Evatt wanted to see an improvement after Saturday’s 1-1 draw at Northern Premier League men FC United of Manchester, and his side certainly raised their game against Championship opposition at the County Ground in Leyland. 

Jones – who got the only goal – was happy to see their hard work in training pay off on the pitch.

“It was a lot better. Everything about Saturday was unacceptable,” said the defender.

“We came in on Monday and analysed the game, talked through some things on Monday. The gaffer got into us and I think we reacted really well. I think that was us back to our best. 

“That was a reaction. We know what we can do and we do it every day in training. It is just a matter of implementing that into the games. We did that well, I was really happy in the end.”

Wanderers kicked off pre-season with several friendlies against non-league opposition, and Jones enjoyed the different challenges that come with facing a Championship side.

“We knew at times we were not going to keep the ball as much. In the three games we played before we have been absolutely dominant,” he added.

“Saturday was just unacceptable. FC United put a lot of pressure on us and we didn’t step up to it. We should have been a lot better. 

“Preston are a Championship side and we knew we had to be at our game otherwise they would roll us over. We worked hard on what we were going to do.”

Jones limped off during the second half following a reckless challenge by Lewis Leigh, but the defender came through unscathed. 

He said: “I am OK. I could see it coming so I managed to get out of the way. I switched a bit and lost my head. I don’t think you need tackles like that. 

“Yes, you need to be competitive in pre-season games but you also need to come out of these games injury free. 

“I spoke to the lad and he was sorry, so we can all move on now.”

Hundreds of Bolton supporters were in attendance at the County Ground and Jones is thrilled to have the fans back with a return to the UniBol coming ever closer. 

The defender added: “It is unbelievable. We knew what the Bolton fans were like, and we had a little taste of it against Exeter at the back end of the season and with people travelling away, down at Crawley when we got the job done.

“But to see them here in big numbers again is unbelievable and we can’t wait to see them again next week.”