IAN Evatt says his players “did not deserve” abuse aimed at players by some supporters after the 1-0 defeat at Accrington Stanley.

The Bolton boss admitted his side had contributed to their own downfall at the Wham Stadium by failing to take a number of good chances created in the first half for Eoin Doyle, Declan John, Kieran Lee and Adam Senior.

Tommy Leigh stole what proved to be the winning goal on 20 minutes after a defensive lapse – and Wanderers struggled to create any momentum after the half time break.

Pockets of the 2,600-strong travelling contingent made their feelings known at the final whistle but Evatt felt some went further than they should.

“We should have scored three first half at least and we conceded a really poor goal,” he said after the game.

“The lads have given everything. We are missing six, I’d argue, that would start the game and sometimes we have that drop off.

“But I can’t ask any more from them, especially the younger players. Adam Senior was outstanding, I thought, and so was George Thomason, who is standing up to be counted. They don’t deserve the abuse they got at the end. They are young players doing the best they can for this football club. I hope they are not scarred by that, they have to keep positive and this is going to be a tough time for everybody.

“Today was better than Tuesday, just not the result we wanted.

Wanderers have failed to score in their last six away games, equalling a club record.

“I would worry more if we didn’t create chances. We had some glorious chances and we have to take them,” Evatt added.

“That can be said for many games, away from home especially, and we have to start putting some away.”

Asked if this was the most difficult spell of his Bolton Wanderers tenure, Evatt said it did not come close to the struggles experienced last season in League Two.

The slow start was done behind closed doors – and the Bolton boss admits that could have been an advantage.

“People have got very short memories, that’s what I would say, and this time last year we were beaten 6-3 at home by Port Vale and 20th in League Two,” he said. “We were fortunate last season that they were not in there because if we are going to get abused like that – sometimes justly, sometimes not – then it would have made it difficult for the younger players.”

Evatt says he accepts there is frustration among the supporters but has appealed for patience with the January transfer window looming and players starting to return from injury.

“Am I happy? Yes and no – we are not happy with where we are, not happy with results, not happy with some performances. But our hands are tied, we are limited with options,” he said.

“These lads who are playing at the moment wouldn’t necessarily have played in League One this season. Some of them need time to develop and have been thrust in.

“We have a huge expectancy at this club, it is a huge club, and we have a mostly fantastic support.

“At the minute we need to take on the criticism from the few, keep our heads and composure, keep fighting and show that we are worth it.

“We showed it last season and we’ll show it again this season.”