NOT for a moment in Saturday’s FA Cup tie did the outcome look in doubt – but Ian Evatt is nevertheless wary of letting bad habits creep at his ambitious Wanderers.

Harrogate might have broken the sequence of seven consecutive clean sheets, wrecking the prospect of a new club record, but simply put, the League Two men lacked the necessary quality to threaten a shock result.

After scoring five goals inside an hour, there was enough of a drop-off in Wanderers' performance to trigger a note of concern in the technical area.

And Evatt is well aware that their opponents in the Bristol Street Motors Trophy, Port Vale, and those who are challenging the Whites at the top of the League One table might not be forgiving.

Looking to the challenges ahead, he is keen for his team to leave nothing to chance.

“You cannot get into that habit – and I have said it before, I’ll say it again – there is no magic tap that you can turn on and off,” he told The Bolton News.

“Everyone speaks about going through the gears but even Manchester City can’t do that. When you lose momentum or you go into a comfort zone you can get hurt. It only takes a second to score a goal and you saw that with City against Spurs, they couldn’t wrestle it back.

“We have to keep momentum, keep doing the things that get us into those good positions, and then you will not give the opposition any chance to get back into the game.

“On Saturday, looking at the data, the game ended up being quite transitional. That wasn’t down to anything they were doing, it was down to us and being sloppy. We ended up working harder than we should have done purely because we kept turning the ball over.”

Though the score-line suggested an easy afternoon against Harrogate, Evatt still felt a tinge of disappointment after reviewing the game over the weekend, knowing that for two-thirds of the game some unwanted traits had crept in.

“We’re setting a whole new bar this season and that is entirely down to the players and what they are achieving,” he said. “It is down to me to hold them accountable when I think they dip below those standards.

“There were parts of the game on Saturday that were outstanding and there were performances on Saturday that were outstanding but I felt like we went back into comfort mode, back into neutral, and saw the game out.

“I want us to stay full throttle for 90 minutes. It is great to get through to the third round and get a Premier League team in the draw but for now I just want to them to get back to the process and make sure we are playing for 90 minutes and not just spells.”

Last season, lifting the Papa Johns Trophy to end a long wait for domestic silverware marked the end of a chapter in Wanderers’ rebuilding process. Evatt has already targeted Championship football as the next step but he is convinced that the club can still achieve their league ambitions whilst also becoming the first side to successfully defend the trophy.

As such, he refuses to ‘weaken’ his line-up against Port Vale.

“When you are the manager of this football club you are expected to win football matches, it doesn’t matter what competition it is in, or who you are playing against,” he said.

“Everyone knows our bread and butter is the league but there is no reason why we can’t still have a great cup run. We’re still in two competitions.

“If you look at last season, we won it but the runners-up were Plymouth, and they got promoted. The year before it was Rotherham, and they went up automatically as well.

“You can do both, especially with the squad of players we have got.

“We just need to stay consistent and stick to what we’re trying to do.”

Jon Dadi Bodvarsson and Dan Nlundulu provided five goals at the weekend on their return to the starting line up but it is expected that leading scorers, Dion Charles and Victor Adeboyejo, will feature from kick-off against Vale.

Charles already has 13 club goals to his name this season – and Evatt is optimistic that others will join him in double figures.

“I have always been confident in this group of strikers and that they can do what we need them to do. I don’t feel any differently now but they are starting to prove me right,” he said.

“There is more to come and they will all have highs and lows. It is always about how you manage them, personnel might have to change and rotate, but I think that as a group they are on the right track.

“Cameron (Jerome) has had a bit of an injury to his neck and back but four out of the five strikers have now got five or more goals, which is great. If we can get them into double figures by the end of the season it shows they have had a really good year.”