Bolton Wanderers vs Gillingham

Just as we finally dried out after our soggy sojourn to Plymouth, the shocking news about the departure of Antoni Sarcevic hit the media outlets on Friday. Everyone was stunned, asking what has been going on and how much more trouble at t’mill is there? It was not the ideal preparation to a match we felt we needed to win to restore our confidence after a poor run of results. All eyes were on the team selection to see if there was any indication of further problems and the performance which would give us an idea of who was backing the manager.
In the event, Evatt went for his arguably strongest team available, bringing back Doyle, John, Kachunga and Santos. The first half was a disaster as we conceded two early goals and looked very nervous and unsettled. It was a very worrying half-time break as our worst fears appeared to be coming true and our hopes for the season were imploding before our own eyes. Evatt must have said the right things as he rallied the troops for the second half, and we finally got into this game. We grew stronger as the game went on and fully deserved the two goals to level the match and we were odds on to get the winner before we ran out of time. The first half had given us nightmares, but the second half gave us confidence and hope.
As the club progresses, there are going to be changes in personnel for a variety of reasons. Some players will not make the grade, some players will get poached by other clubs, some players will have fallouts with management and some better players will be brought in as the club can afford. It is all part and parcel of a club developing. Keeping the team together through all these changes is a real test of management. Only time will tell whether any key decision is the right one. At the end of the day, no player or manager is bigger than the club and when it comes to disputes between players and manager, there can only be one winner, the manager. Based on the second half display, then it looks like Evatt has got the support in the dressing room and it is important that we all stick together in these testing times as we support the club’s return to better times.