IAN Evatt reckons his players needed to rediscover the winning feeling at Rochdale last night.

Wanderers booked their place in the second round of the Papa John’s Trophy with a stellar 3-0 win at the Crown Oil Arena.

Dapo Afolayan and Declan John scored in quick succession before Eoin Doyle added a third just before half time from the penalty spot to give the Whites a much-needed morale boost.

Evatt’s side had gone five games without a win but the Bolton boss – who has never had a winless run of six games in his managerial career – was happy to see them take charge of their own fortunes.

“It was much more like it, I was delighted with the result,” he said.

“We have had a really bad month but this is a new one, a new start and an opportunity to put a run together and I thought our application was excellent.

“Rochdale are a team who, in my opinion, try to play the right way. They cause you problems and this has always been a difficult place to come so we had to show them respect.

“But I thought the way we went about our business was excellent, our work ethic from back to front was excellent and it set the tone and then after that some of our play was outstanding.”

Wanderers made just three changes to the side beaten at Portsmouth on Saturday and Evatt confirmed the reason for naming such a strong team had been to try and restore some spirit which had waned in recent weeks.

“We needed confidence and belief to win football matches,” he said.

“Rochdale are a very good team and if you come here undercooked you will get hurt, so we showed them respect by naming that strong team.

“But I feel like the players needed to feel what it was like to win again. Our attitude and application was excellent but we have got a lot to make up for and so it is on to Sunday now.

“Me, the fans, everyone can see what we can do.

“But we haven’t done it in the last couple of weeks.

“It has gone now and we have to put that all behind us, start a new run and this is hopefully the start.”

Evatt picked out Lloyd Isgrove for special praise as Wanderers registered their first win at Rochdale since 1985.

“Lloyd is a very good, technical player and we are asking him to play out of position but he has done it without question,” he said. “He has done it with the right attitude and application, he is going to make mistakes because he is not a full-back, but he is doing the best he can and tonight I think he was excellent.”