IAN Evatt has faith that the scientific approach can keep Wanderers firing in League One.

The Bolton boss will rotate his squad once again for today’s game against Cheltenham Town, where three points could take them back to the top of the table if Portsmouth also fail to beat Leyton Orient.

Still alive in the FA Cup and the Bristol Street Motors Trophy, Wanderers potentially face more games between now and the end of the season than any of their promotion rivals.

The club boosted their backroom this week with the appointment of a new head of sports science, Paul Walsh, who has previously worked with Stoke City, Sunderland and Northern Ireland.

And Evatt is confident his medical and sports science departments can guide his decision-making to ensure the Whites can remain competitive on all fronts.

“We bring in staff members and we trust them,” he told The Bolton News. “That is the way it has to be.

“Sharon (Brittan) and the board are amazing at it – they trust that we can get on with our jobs in our area of expertise. Likewise, I am not a sports scientist, so I will listen to them and take on that information.

“Of course, it is then my decision, but it is an informed one, and the information I get from those guys is fantastic. The games are simple to plan for, it is just making sure that everyone is getting what they need in the lead-up to games, that is the challenging part.”

The old footballing adage is ‘never change a winning team’ but Evatt maintains the physical demands of the modern game requires a slightly different approach.

Whilst all the old principles of form and tactical suitability remain relevant, the data gathered in training sessions and during a matchday also helps the manager assess if some of his players are physically right for selection.

Picking the right side for the right opponent is also another aspect which will come into play for today’s match.

Evatt said: “I had huge faith in the team I picked for Accrington and it wasn’t picked by chance, we kind of knew the game it would be and that we would need physicality at the top end of the pitch and that we might need to play slightly longer than we normally would do because of the conditions and the way they (Stanley) play. Now we have another plan for Cheltenham.

“It isn’t a week to week thing, it is looking at the bigger picture and what is in front of you. I know Sir Alex Ferguson used to do that a lot, say ‘the plan is to play him in this fixture for this reason.’ “Things can change with injuries or suspensions. Someone can absolutely catch fire and score back-to-back hat-tricks and make it impossible to take them out of the team.

“But we have an idea of what it should look like and as long as you communicate that to the players they know it might not be their turn today, but it will be on Tuesday. I think they are invested with that. Honesty and transparency works.”

Meanwhile, Wanderers have been drawn away at Blackpool in the quarter final of the Bristol Street Motors Trophy.

Northern Section 

Bradford City v Doncaster Rovers or Wigan Athletic
Blackpool v Bolton Wanderers

Southern Section 

Peterborough United or Crawley Town v AFC Wimbledon
Wycombe Wanderers v Brighton & Hove Albion U21