MARKED man Dapo Afolayan may be key to getting Wanderers’ attack firing again.

Ian Evatt believes League One clubs have now latched on to the quality Afolayan offers from the left side of his attack and have afforded him extra attention in recent weeks.

But as Bolton head to The Valley tonight looking to bounce back from back-to-back defeats against Rotherham United and Sunderland, Evatt believes his talismanic wide man can adapt his game to cope.

“I speak to managers after games, share a drink, compare notes, and most say we need to target Afolayan, put two or three around him,” Evatt said. “We need to figure out new ways.

“So now do we need to develop Dapo, get him into new space, move him around the pitch?

“Does his game have to change? Does he go down the line rather than checking back inside all the time as he likes to do, or can he find a pass to someone else who should have space elsewhere?

“Those little details are important and we are working on them all the time.

“But I am really pleased with what we are doing and what we are creating. We just let teams off the hook.”

Evatt surprised some supporters at the weekend by saying the performance at the Stadium of Light was better than the previous away trip at Ipswich, which had resulted in a 5-2 win.

Analysing the quality of chances that were created – and missed – made little difference to his assessment.

“It is just the finish,” he said. “We look at expected goals and assists, final third opportunities created – then we split those chances into critical chances, half chances.

“Going through the numbers on Saturday we had five critical chances where we should really be scoring goals.

“We created more on Saturday, believe it or not, than we did at Ipswich, where we scored five goals.”

After a weekend of golfing disappointment for those on this side of the Atlantic, Evatt was happy to provide a topical example.

“It isn’t even luck,” he said. “We just need to be better in the final third.

“It’s like the Ryder Cup. I like my golf and drive for show and putt for dough and that’s kind of where we’re at with our game.

“Tee to green, we’re great, but on the greens at the moment, we’re creating loads of birdie opportunities but not holing them.”