IAN Evatt has revealed the secret behind Wanderers’ rapid improvement from set pieces in the last few weeks.

The vast majority of Bolton’s goals this season had come from open play – at least until recently, when corners and free kicks have produced some unexpected but welcome returns.

Ricardo Santos, Luke Mbete and Eoin Toal all profited directly from a corner in Tuesday night’s 5-0 win against MK Dons, with a couple more goals created in similar fashion at Peterborough United on Saturday.

Suddenly, Wanderers have pushed into sixth place overall in League One with 11 set piece goals, behind Oxford, Port Vale (both 12), Portsmouth (13), Shrewsbury (16) and Ipswich (17).

Evatt explained: “What we have tried to do is really simplify things, really concentrate on the delivery and what specific area we are attacking and making sure everyone is doing their job, more accountability, really.

“I think when someone doesn’t do their job, whether that be a blocker or a decoy, the whole corner breaks down. What we have done is give the player more accountability, made sure in no uncertain terms that they know the role and responsibility. It is then down to them to be aggressive and attack the ball.

“The confidence that Rico took from Saturday, he just looked so aggressive in the opposition box tonight, scored a brilliant header and could have had another one. Every corner we looked a real threat, so I am really pleased with that.”

It has been long puzzled on the terraces why Wanderers’ imposing centre-backs do not get more goals but Evatt reckons his team is now getting the right blend of threat from open play and set pieces.

“Luke and Rico are two big specimens, (Eoin) Toal attacks it well too, Gethin does, we have got some attacking threats from corners and we have to make more of it. I am pleased we have tonight,” he said.

“It is crazy that Baps (Alex Baptiste) has come to see us and hasn’t been for a while, and he was like ‘where’s Mbete from? He looks like Rico 2.0!”

“We have got some really talented players and Shola Shoretire was just a pleasure to watch, really, gets bums off seats and excites the crowd, he played really well.”