Ian Evatt hailed his side’s “irresistible” attacking play during their 5-2 victory against Reading in front of more than 25,000 fans at the Toughsheet Community Stadium.

Aaron Collins netted a hat trick, with Jon Dadi Bodvarsson also bagging a brace to send the bumper crowd home happy.

“The most important thing today was the win,” said Evatt. “The performance obviously is vital to how process and view things, and I think when we perform like that we are a difficult team to stop.

“I think we could have got more goals, which is obviously a frustration because if it comes down to that, we will look back at that second half thinking we had some great opportunities and conceded a sloppy one.

“But some of our play was irresistible, I am really pleased for the players. Since Christmas, we have had so much adversity.

“We have had injuries to key players which would make a different to anyone’s squad and we have had a lot missing at once. But we have managed to still be in the fight, which is really important.

“Whether we have to win five more or eight more, whatever that may be, if we perform like we have done today we give ourselves a great chance of doing it.”

It was an afternoon to remember for Collins, who left with the match ball for only the second time in his career.

“With all of our January recruits, since I have been here, it is always the second season that you see the benefits of them and I think that will be the case with Aaron as well,” Evatt added.

“We signed him for the long-term and we know he is capable of really special things. He is getting used to the way we play and he is playing within the structure a lot more now, which is good.

“He needs to be more intense with his in and out of possession stuff, but that is coming and it takes time.

“Today he has shown exactly what we paid the money for. He is capable of magic moments and that first goal, in particular, was very special.”

The Bolton boss remains hopeful of having Dion Charles and Nathan Baxter back for the trip to Bristol Rovers.

“We are depleted in terms of numbers and injuries, and we are still capable of performing like that,” he explained.

“It is a talented group of players and we play football in what is a really difficult, detailed way. When they get it right, they can look excellent.

“Sometimes we have dipped below those levels but I do think there is context and reasons behind when we have.

“For us, it is about focusing on five more victories or eight – what will be, will be. That is the best we can do and it will hopefully take us to where we want to be.”