WANDERERS passed their first FA Cup test with flying colours – now Ian Evatt wants to switch focus back to the promotion race.

A 4-0 win against National League Solihull Moors booked a second round home tie against Harrogate Town at the start of December.

But while Evatt was relieved to get his first victory in the competition as a manager at the sixth attempt, he has moved quickly to put all cup thoughts aside with a trip to Shrewsbury Town coming up on Tuesday night.

A win against the Shrews could put Bolton level on points with second-placed Oxford United, who are not in action on the night, and to within three points of leaders Portsmouth.

“I was delighted with the attitude the players showed, and some of the football we played at times was outstanding,” said the Wanderers boss, after goals from Ricardo Santos, Paris Maghoma, Will Forrester and Dion Charles earned his side a straightforward win against Moors.

“It was a good day all round but I said to the players as soon as they came in that we need to park that result very quickly, there is a really big game at Shrewsbury coming up on Tuesday night and we need absolutely everyone focussed on it.”

The chances of a cup shock looked remote on Saturday as Evatt’s much-changed side controlled the game throughout.

The Bolton boss was especially pleased for two of his summer signings, Brentford loanee Maghoma and Carlos Mendes Gomes, who are both now firmly back in the first team picture after a spell out with injury.

He said: “I thought Paris and Carlos Mendes Gomes, when he came on, showed us that different type of midfield player that can dribble and drive past each other, create space for themselves, and do something slightly different to the other ones we have got.

“I am delighted for Paris because adding goals to his game is something we have spoken about.

“Fundamentally, I am just pleased about the attitude they showed. Before the game I said to the players it was all about them. A small crowd, little atmosphere, Solihull’s cup final that they would give absolutely everything, their fans were great and travelled in number. We had to create our own atmosphere and intensity, and they did that superbly well.”

Wanderers were also able to bring Luke Matheson on for his third appearance of the season and his first in the FA Cup since playing for Rochdale at Newcastle United in January 2020.

Though signed initially for the B Team, the former Wolves wing-back has caught the eye in each of his games at first team level so far.

Evatt said: “He is considered a first team option but we have got Josh (Dacres-Cogley) who has been doing great, Gethin (Jones) who can play there. I can’t speak highly enough of him as a person, he’s unbelievable, a real throwback similar to George Thomason, quiet, unassuming, humble, and he has had adversity in his career but come through it and is now showing some really good things.

“He is with the first team pretty much exclusively now and we’re delighted to have him.

“Without even asking, he just does the right thing. Away at Wycombe, when everyone was excited and getting changed to go back, Luke picks up a brush and sweeps the changing room. Those are the standards he has. We love working with him.”

Matheson had a big move from Rochdale to Wolves wrecked by injuries earlier in his career and Wanderers wanted to carefully integrate him back into regular football by offering him a route through the B Team.

Evatt added: “He has had a lot of injuries and, touch wood, this is the longest he has been without one now, which is great credit to Jack (Inman) the strength and conditioning coach, Matt Craddock’s management of him in the B Team.

“Player loads are definitely something we are becoming more aware of, and how we can make players more robust and able to do the work on the grass Monday to Friday, then perform to the intensity we need them to do on a Saturday.

“They are all different, all human beings are, and we have to understand everyone’s make up. It is something we are improving on.”