Ian Evatt hopes Wanderers fans got a better understanding of what Elias Kachunga brings to his side after Tuesday night’s win against MK Dons.

The former Huddersfield Town man was named in a League One starting line-up for only the third time this season – and rewarded his manager’s decision with a high-energy display alongside Dion Charles up front.

Evatt appreciates it has taken some supporters time to warm to Kachunga since he signed at the UniBol last season.

But he thinks the 30-year-old showed why he is valued so highly within the Wanderers set-up with his grasp of the tactical demands in midweek.

“I think sometimes Kacha gets the rough end of the stick a little bit,” said the Bolton boss. “I’m really pleased with all the forwards we have and we felt Kacha dropping into those pockets of space would really help us.

“I think he is reliable when the ball goes into him and his work ethic and his understanding of the press is excellent.

“He has played for managers that have a similar ethos to how we want to press, (David) Wagner and in Germany in particular, and I thought his understanding of when to press a centre back or when to drop in on pivot because Kieran Lee has emptied the space to go to a centre back was fantastic. I’m really pleased for him.”

Kachunga’s goal return in a Bolton shirt has been scrutinised, with five last season in all competitions and one this term in the Papa Johns Trophy against Salford City.

Evatt feels he should not be judged solely on his scoring record – and with other strikers also being asked to fulfil a more selfless pressing role this season he believes Kachunga’s example could also apply to others in the squad.

“We have to appreciate his hard work and sacrificing for the team because the type of team we have, we’re trying to be dangerous in possession and out of possession,” he said. “Kacha’s understanding of pressure and when to press, who to press, how to press, how intensely to run and press is fantastic and top drawer.

“Him and Kieran are probably the best two in terms of understanding when and how to press. We have to respect that work because that work gains us goals as well and it makes us dangerous out of possession.”

Wanderers will have Jon Dadi Bodvarsson fit again to face Peterborough United this weekend and also left Dapo Afolayan on the bench at MK.

Rotating his attacking players has been a challenge for Evatt and he has urged them not to lose motivation.

“I think the world of them all,” he said. “I am not going to be able to keep them all happy but that’s football and we’re blessed to have a really good squad and we’ll keep working hard to keep them all happy and to pick the right team for the right occasion but onto Saturday now.

“Baka came on and looked sharp, Kieran Sadlier has been playing out of his skin and training really well and deserves more opportunities, we haven’t used Dapo and Jon is back on Saturday so good luck keeping these lot happy!”