WANDERERS walked away from a near-perfect night in the EFL Trophy with plenty of positives to take into Saturday’s trip to Port Vale.

Ian Evatt watched his side rattle eight goals past Manchester United Under-21s – equalling their best result in 40 years – to give themselves a timely boost of confidence for a cluster of three matches over the next seven days.

A place in the last 32 now looks secure after two goals apiece from Dan Nlundulu and Josh Sheehan plus further strikes from Gethin Jones, Jon Dadi Bodvarsson, Nelson Khumbeni and Luke Matheson earned an 8-1 win against the inexperienced Reds.

“I think the game could have been about 15-3, it was crazy, but the quality of the goals were excellent,” said Evatt after the final whistle. “When we do put it all together we look a really good team.

“People will say ‘the opposition’ but that team beat Stockport County, so you have to give them some respect, and it got to the latter stages of the Trophy last season.

“We can only do what we can do, beat what is put in front of us, and I think the attitude and energy was first class.”

Both Nlundulu and Bodvarsson had impressed on Saturday after coming off the bench to help Wanderers to a 1-1 draw against Peterborough Unted.

The strike pair scored their first goals of the season in a game that Evatt believes will give them a shot in the arm after a tough start.

“I am pleased with both of them because not only did they get on the scoresheet but their general play was good, their pressing intensity was good,” he said. “It followed on from Dion and Victor’s example, and that is really important against a side like United who build from the back.

“Dan getting into the right areas and spaces was good too. Too many times he has done really good work outside of the box and wide but we want him in that zone, the middle of the six yard box, scoring goals, and he did that.”

Wanderers go to Vale on Saturday followed by back-to-back home games against Stevenage and Carlisle United.

Currently missing several first team regulars through injury and suspension, Evatt predicts it could be a rough few games for those players remaining. But after a morale boosting win in the Trophy, Evatt hopes the Bolton fans can do their bit to try and keep the players energised.

“Other than the goal against it was probably the perfect night,” he said. “We have a really tough week to come now with Port Vale away and then two home games, and the players need help, they need support, it has been a really tough spell with injuries but there is light at the end of the tunnel and once we get through it, to the international break, we will have everyone back available, apart from George Johnston. After that we can really get our head down and build consistent results “For now, it is about getting results to keep us in touch.”