IAN Evatt is backing hometown hero Joel Coleman to stay steady in his unexpected run as Wanderers’ number one.

The Bolton-born-and-bred keeper was rushed back into action at the weekend when it was decided that Nathan Baxter could not play on with a wrist injury.

As yet, there is no definitive timeline on Baxter’s return – which means Coleman has the gloves until further notice.

The 28-year-old pulled off some big saves against Northampton and Wycombe but then conceded a stoppage time penalty on Tuesday night with a rather rash challenge on Sam Vokes.

Evatt is confident, however, that he can rely on Coleman to deliver the goods under promotion pressure.

“It has been tough for him because he has been absolutely chucked in the deep end,” the manager said.

“He had a mixed evening, some really good saves in the first-half and then obviously the thing at the end but he is going to get better with game time and we have to support him.

“We are happy with him, he has been brilliant for us on and off the pitch, and he has a great opportunity now to help us get over the line.

“We all need to support him now, keep him confident and playing well.”

Wanderers also gave Aaron Collins his first start since the £750,000 deadline day move from Bristol Rovers.

The Welshman initially partnered Dion Charles up front and then briefly played alongside Victor Adeboyejo before being replaced by eventual match-winner Jon Dadi Bodvarsson.

Evatt was pleased with his recent signing but said the best was yet to come.

“He has to get used to us, and it is a lot different to what it was at Bristol Rovers,” he said. “That will take time.

“But he shows flashes of quality and that will happen more and more as time goes on. He will build relationships with individuals and the rest of the team. I was pleased with him to get his first start.”

Wycombe’s team shape meant Bolton had to play slightly more direct than they would ordinarily do on Tuesday night, and Evatt was pleased to see his players worked out how best to get their attacking players into the game.

“We are an in-possession football team but as I’ve said before, we don’t do it for vanity,” he said.

“If the space is at the top end of the pitch, we’ll get the ball there. It might take one or two passes to draw the opponents on to create that space but if they are willing to leave Dion Charles and Aaron Collins two-v-two, or Jon Dadi Bodvarsson and Vic Adeboyejo two-v-two, then we have to make that pay.

“That means getting the ball to the final third a bit quicker. It isn’t aimless, it is not outwardly direct football, it is playing with a purpose and I think it worked well at stages tonight.”