WANDERERS head to Charlton Athletic upbeat about their chances of a third straight win – but Ian Evatt has warned it won’t necessarily be perfect!

Second spot in the table is theoretically within reach this weekend, if the Whites can bring three points home from The Valley and results elsewhere go in their favour.

But Evatt has found out in the last week that even his team’s victories have been met with a critical eye – with some concerns voiced about a ‘drop off’ in performance against both Northampton and Wycombe.

Indeed, Bolton have scored 68 per cent of this season’s goals in the first half and based purely on events in the first 45 minutes of games, they are second only to Oxford in League One.

By comparison, if only events in the second half are taken into consideration, Wanderers are 19th in the table.

Evatt defended his team’s performance at Wycombe on Tuesday night – which saw them lose a two-goal lead, then rally to win 4-2.

And while his team will strive to deliver a ’90 minute’ performance at Charlton, the Bolton boss feels he could be cut some slack.

“I have had a look at it, and the only explanation I can give – and I think it is a reasonable one – is that we are ahead a lot more this season,” he told The Bolton News.

“We are winning more games in the first half, whereas in the past we have been happy to stay in the game or score late. That gives you a different feeling, maybe a false one, because it means you are either level or behind in the first place. But in the majority of games we have played this season, we have been ahead.

“I used to say all the time ‘I wish we’d score the first goal, look at our record when we score the first goal’ but now we’re scoring it, we’re wondering why we never score again.

“Everyone wants perfection, but it just doesn’t exist, in my opinion, if you head for perfection, you are on the right path, and we’re on the right path from what I have seen.”

Surprised by some of the reaction to the performance at Wycombe on Tuesday night, Evatt felt on second glance that his team fared better in the second half than they got credit for.

He said: “I don’t know if people can expect us to do what we did first half for 90 minutes every game, then we could be the world’s best-ever League One team, it just doesn’t happen like that, it isn’t that easy.

“You have to give credit to the opposition that they are going to change, then know that we have to change too. We were away from home, too.

“In previous game, I agree, the second-half performance hasn’t been the same but Tuesday we were just unlucky to concede a goal like that a minute after half time.

“Most goals are avoidable but, in my opinion, that was as near to unavoidable as you can get.

“People are going to give the ball away high up the pitch but what happened after that was great, we’d got back into a good shape, we got a block on the cross, but it then felt 25 yards out and on the half volley to him (Leahy) so sometimes you have to hold your hands up and say ‘well done’.

“That changed momentum, the feeling of the stadium, but we still didn’t concede loads of chances. No, we didn’t get back to the heights we did first half, but we were still competitive.

“When they scored the second from a set play, the way we grasped back hold of the game was great, I was delighted with that mindset.

“It was a really good three points. Ever since I have been here we have talked about progression, and to go to Wycombe and score four goals to win is serious progression in my book. We should celebrate it."

Charlton have improved their home results since Michael Appleton took charge in September and will be looking to bounce back from a 3-1 defeat at Lincoln in midweek.

Evatt compares their approach to that of Peterborough but feels his players will go to the capital full of confidence.

He said: “They play a different system to us, their team is made up a different way, but they are dangerous, no doubt about that,” he said. “If that front four clicks into gear in any given minute or phase, they can really hurt you.

“We have to make sure we can punch back, but do so with our guard up at all times. That is the main thing, especially because we are away from home.

“But the team is in good shape, good spirits, we have just won away and scored four goals at Wycombe having never scored there before, the players are full of belief and spirit and we will be looking to get another result.”