Ian Evatt has answered back at comments made by Portsmouth boss Danny Cowley over the international break.

Wanderers’ game at Fratton Park on September 24 was postponed for international call-ups on both sides – but Cowley later claimed he wanted the game to go ahead as planned.

Pompey topped the table at the time and are currently the only undefeated team in the division.

Evatt laughed off suggestion that the match could have been played fairly with his side missing key internationals.

He said: “Well of course, when there is no Conor Bradley, Dion Charles, James Trafford! We would all want to play then wouldn’t we?

“Why wouldn’t you want to play when half of the (opposition) team's best players are missing?

“But that is football. I am sure again that Danny wanted to play it because his team are in good form.

“We would have liked to have played because our team is in good form but unfortunately for us we have internationals away which affect the balance and quality of our team, so why would we take that risk?”

Evatt is pleased with the way is squad has trained since returning from the international break – revealing that some of his players and their families elected to use their time off to go on a short team-bonding break together.

Wanderers have won their last three league games, leaving them with 17 points after nine games, their best haul at this stage since 2006 in the Premier League.

Whether the break interrupts Bolton’s stride remains to be seen but the Whites boss says he has been happy with what he has witnessed in the first few days back as they build towards a home game with Cowley's former employers, Lincoln City.

“There are two ways of looking at it,” he said of how the 11-day hiatus could affect his players. “The answer is I don’t know until we start playing again.

“We were in a rich vein of form before the break and some people will suggest we should have continued and carried on.

“Others will suggest we have had a tough, physical start to the season with some difficult games and a break will refresh the players to go again.

“I can only speak about what I have seen so far this week and it has been exceptional.”