STANDARDS must improve across the board at Wanderers if they are to keep up a solid start to the season, says Ian Evatt.

Humbled by Cheltenham in midweek, Bolton are still handily placed in sixth as they return to Gloucestershire to take on League One new boys Forest Green tomorrow.

At the 10-game marker the Whites had collected as many points as they had in any singular campaign over the last 20 years – but the manner of defeat at Whaddon Road has set nerves jangling among supporters and caught the manager’s attention too.

Evatt made three changes at Cheltenham, bringing in Will Aimson, Jon Dadi Bodvarsson and Kyle Dempsey for Conor Bradley, Elias Kachunga and Kieran Lee.

He also made five substitutions during the second half in an effort to shake his team from its malaise, but to no avail.

Evatt has hinted at plans to freshen his squad again at Forest Green but does so with a warning to his players that they must be better prepared when called upon.

“It is a really difficult position to be in if you are not starting games, I understand that. It is frustrating at times,” he told The Bolton News.

“As I keep saying to them, though, unless they are training at their absolute maximum every single day, football will always give you an opportunity. And when that comes around, they won’t be ready to take it, they will be under par.

“What we have seen in the first half at Tranmere and at stages at Cheltenham was that there is a drop off, and we don’t want that.

“We have to learn from that. I have said loads of times to you guys that there is no magic tap to turn on and off for match days, it is a continual thing. You have to keep it on at all times.”

Evatt reported no new injury problems, so has a deep squad from which to select at the New Lawn.

His squad rotation policy has slowed in recent weeks as Wanderers constructed a solid run of results and clean sheets but reflecting on the disappointment at Cheltenham, Evatt says the players who have not been involved must make sure they take their chance.

“Opportunities can come and go really quickly,” he said. “If you fail to take it, then you could be sat waiting again and it isn’t my fault.

“I pick the team and I pick it for a reason. Fundamentally that team had won four football matches on the spin, been consistent in the way they played.

“It wasn’t just the new lads coming in, or the lads coming off the bench, it was an awful performance from everyone. There wasn’t much positive to take out of it at all.”