Ian Evatt’s reaction to our Boxing Day draw with AFC Fylde.
Manager Ian Evatt saw his side desperately unlucky not to pick up all three points against AFC Fylde, with the woodwork and a save of the season contender denying the Bluebirds all three points. However, he was very happy with his team after another fantastic performance:
“I think we definitely deserved all three points, the boys were outstanding against a very good team in AFC Fylde.
To dominate both halves and have so many good chances – hitting the post again and their keeper making a great save, I’m super proud of my team.”
The game was the second in a run of games that sees Barrow face several teams in the play-off places, yet like at Solihull on Saturday the Bluebirds were the better side, and Evatt says there is more still to come from his side:
“It’s a tough run of games that we’re on, but it’s exciting for us because I think we’re just getting started. Today was the best we have played out of the shape, and our shape has been excellent in terms of being hard to beat, with five clean sheets on the bounce obviously. At times, with no disrespect to Fylde, they couldn’t get near us.
Again, we’ve had to make changes because of little knocks and niggles and injuries, and the lads that have come on have changed the game. I’m delighted for Jack, it’s a great finish and that’s what he does.
I think we’ve had inconsistencies at the start of the season, but we’ve been finding our feet, I’ve been finding my feet as a manager too, and I like to see what the league is like and what it takes to win games on a consistent basis. The fans have stuck with me, we’ve worked ever so hard and I’ve got to say the players work their socks off everyday in training – and finally we are getting the rewards.
But we’re still only getting started, we’re not happy in mid-table and I won’t accept that and this group can really push on and hopefully give the fans something to sing about come the end of the season.”
A bumper crowd of 1582 saw the Bluebirds go desperately close to a winner and the manager was delighted that the Barrow public responded to his calls to come down and see what his side are doing at the Furness Building Society Stadium:
“I’ve got to say that today the crowd, 1600, is brilliant – it’s exactly what I asked for and what I wanted and I hope those who were here, who don’t come reguarly enjoyed what they saw because these lads are good players and they put in a proper shift for this football club. Hopefully we can keep those people coming back – it was a fantastic crowd, a fantastic occasion and a fantastic performance though unfortunately we couldn’t quite get the winner.
I’ve heard alot the past few days and weeks that we haven’t had a point against Fylde, we haven’t done this, we haven’t done that – we’re a different team now and we’ve got different players. We expected to win today and we deserved to win today and that’s important – we’ve got to change peoples mindsets.”
Bluebirds striker Jacob Blyth was substituted in the first half but Evatt said the knock he sustained isn’t too serious and stressed the important of managing his squad over the festive period:
“Jacob has a bit of a thigh strain, it’s not ideal but it’s nothing major. Obviously with so many games coming up, we’ve got a tight schedule and we have to look after people like him and Kemy (Agustien), who came off with a tight hamstring as well. We have to keep people fresh and fit, and that’s why I made changes early, particularly in midfield as that is where you need the legs and energy. Josh Kay has been training out of his skin and he deserves a chance, Olly Dyson came on and showed what he can do too.”
The BT Sport cameras roll into town on Saturday as we host Salford City, a side who have suffered a dip in form recently, but the manager is under no illusions as to how difficult a game it will be for his side:
“You know what they say about wounded animals, they come back fighting. They’ve been well and truly beat the last three games but they will be wanting to come here and win, giving their all. But if we are at it, and if we play how we can play – which I hope we can do in front of the TV cameras, then we will show what a fantastic team we are.”
You can purchase tickets for our festive TV clash with Salford City online HERE !