Wanderers boss Ian Evatt admits it was a difficult decision to leave Luke Mbete out of the squad at Wembley.

The youngster has made seven appearances for the Whites since joining on loan from Manchester City in the January window.

But Mbete didn’t make the squad against Plymouth at the weekend, with George Johnston returning to the bench after a spell out of action.

Evatt praised the youngster’s “outstanding” attitude and says he showed maturity beyond his years despite missing out on a chance to play at the famous venue.

“Everyone wants to play at Wembley, and naming the team is a really difficult thing to do because you are always going to have disappointed people,” he told The Bolton News.

“A shoutout to Luke Mbete as well. Of the players available, he was the only one who missed out. A 19-year-old kid took it like a man.

“He was outstanding with the way he reacted. He was a superb team-mate and he will gain from that experience. I am really proud of him also, he needs a special mention.”

Mbete spent the first half of the campaign on loan at Huddersfield, playing six times in total for the Championship outfit.

He also featured for the England Under-20 side against USA last week as Ian Foster’s side prepare for this summer’s World Cup in Indonesia.

Meanwhile, Evatt was delighted his side could give first-team chef James Berry something to smile about after a difficult week for his family.

“We have had a bit of emotion this week,” he added. “James Berry, our chef, had some awful news with his family and it has really rocked the group. If one of us hurts, we all hurt.

“We said if we could make him and his family smile for one minute - with all the awful news they have had this week - then we should take that opportunity, and the players definitely did that.”

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