IAN Evatt is wary of building up Monday’s trip to Portsmouth as a ‘season-defining’ game but believes his in-form Wanderers go to Fratton Park in the best possible condition.

All eyes will be on Pompey and Bolton after the weekend as the TV cameras head down to the South Coast to see the current top two in League One do battle.

Evatt’s side has been virtually faultless since the October international break, winning 10 and drawing one of their last 11 games in all competitions.

Pompey’s recent 4-0 home defeat to Blackpool was the only time they have slipped up in the league all season – and though the winner of Monday night’s game might well be declared favourite to finish top, the Bolton boss urged his players not to look too far ahead.

“It is important because it is another three points towards our target and that is how we must see it, we can’t build it up into a cup final,” he told The Bolton News.

“There are no prizes given out on Monday, but we do want to give a really good account of ourselves knowing there is a national audience watching and try to get three points.

“We are really looking forward to it, I am sure it will be an excellent game for people to watch between two really big clubs. But it is important – probably for both sides to remember – that promotion won’t be decided there and then, there is a lot of work ahead.

“We want to win, we want to lay down a marker and show people how well we are playing at the moment, that’s our motivation.”

With a full League One fixture list going on elsewhere, third-placed Oxford United take on fifth-placed Peterborough United in a game that could put the squeeze on the Whites.

Wanderers will train over the weekend in preparation for Pompey and fly down, rather than take the traditional team coach, in order to keep the players as fresh as possible.

“We make sure we are ready,” Evatt said. “The board have been incredible allowing us to fly down, which saves a long journey.

“The players and staff will be having the best possible preparation to get the right result on Monday. It is great credit to the board and the backing they keep giving us.”

Barring Dan Nlundulu, who damaged his hamstring in Tuesday night’s win against Port Vale in the Bristol Street Motors Trophy, and long-term absentee George Johnston, Wanderers currently have a clean bill of health.

Evatt was pleased that all his squad got time on the pitch during the last two cup games, which puts them in good condition going to Fratton Park.

“We knew because of the two-week window we had that we had to give everyone minutes and look at what they had done this season, look at the loading, the data from Harrogate on Saturday and from the Port Vale game and try to balance it out so that everyone is in optimum condition for Portsmouth on Monday.

“I think barring the one injury we picked up for Dan that we have managed that really well, and it is frustrating that it should happen in the last few minutes of the game.”