Managers Reaction: Chesterfield (A)

Manager Ian Evatt’s thoughs on our 0-0 draw at Chesterfield!

Ian Evatt was pleased with his side after another good performance saw them pick up a point against a revived Chesterfield side at the Proact Stadium.


The Bluebirds manager thought his side weren’t far off claiming all three points in a tight affair in Derbyshire, with a goal the only thing missing from his side’s efforts:

“I think first half we probably weren’t brave enough in possession, we were a bit sloppy and it took us a while to get going in the game. We made a slight tactical change which seemed to help us and then I think in the last ten minutes of the first half we looked like the more likely to score. Second half again we started much better, much brighter and I thought we were much the better team to be honest in the second half and looked the more likely to score. We created a few lovely passing moves that we should have finished off and been more clinical but then the sending off obviously changes things and changes the dynamic of the game and we had to dig in.

I must say I thought the back three were outstanding, Sam (Hird) in his first start for us was superb and Matty Elsdon and DJ did well. We really dug in during the last ten minutes but didn’t really come under much pressure with was pleasing. The signs were there for me that we are a good side.”


Evatt insisted that he had no concerns with his strike force after the Bluebirds created chances but couldn’t quite take one at his old stomping ground:

“It doesn’t worry me because we are creating, and today we definitely created. We will work hard on the training ground on playing out of our shape better and I thought you saw that today with some of the moves we created, especially in the second half which were outstanding. We just needed that goal but it wasn’t through lack of trying – we created numerous opportunities but it didn’t quite fall for us. It’s a pleasing point though, I think this will be a really difficult place to come for the rest of the season, John (Sheridan) has got them playing well and it’s a good point in the end.”


Andy Firth left the club in mid-week in a transfer to Glasgow Rangers, with the Gaffer acting quickly to bring in Brad Wade on loan from Rochdale. He believes the move is a sign of the clubs ability to nurture younger players and underlined the importance of competition for places in his squad.

“It (Firth Leaving) probably was a bit of a surprise to be honest, but I have said all along since last summer that we are trying to recruit young assets, Andy has played 19/20 games for us this season and done really well but obviously Joel has come in and I think we’ve kept 10 clean sheets since he came in. But Andy trained really well and he is still a very good young keeper and when Rangers came knocking on the door with a deal that is right for the club, we took it and we will move on. As I’ve said before it will be important for us to produce young players to be sustainable going forward.

Brad is a very good young keeper. Obviously Joel is in the form of his life and has the shirt at the moment but that doesn’t mean he hasn’t come under any pressure. I think you have seen now that in more or less every position we have got someone pressing the first eleven. We changed it today with Josh Kay coming in for John Rooney which added some fresh legs and a bit of energy but then when Roons came on he was outstanding. We’ve got a close knit group which means that when we keep everyone fit and on the pitch, we’ve got a very good side.”


Evatt also hinted there may be more to come through the door at the Furness Building Society Stadium, but only if he can be sure they are the right player to add to his squad’s after an impressive season so far:

“There is money available but I’m certainly not going to waste it. As I said we are very picky with our recruitment, we do alot of research and homework, character references etc to make sure we get the right players in as much as we can. Obviously with the league tranfer window still open we will possibly hang on because we have no game next weekend, then if the better players in the league don’t move somewhere then we might have a chance of grabbing them. We will be patience, throrough and hopefully get the right ones in.”


The Bluebirds now face another two week break without a game due to our home game against Leyton Orient next weekend being postponed due to their involvement in the FA Trophy. The manager confirmed there will be no rest for his players though:

“It is frustrating because we have been playing well, I think last Saturday we didn’t start the game very well and it took us 60 minutes to really get going and look like ourselves again. Today was a very good performance and we are away from home after all at a very big football club and it’s a bit of a shock they are where they are in the league with the money they have spent. So to come here and dominate the game, dominate possession like we have to be pleased with that ahead of a big run to the end of the season.

We work really hard on the training pitch, we’re very professional and thorough in what we do and we will keep working hard. The lads are hungry and want to win and we are now a hard team to beat which is definitely progress.”


279 Barrow fans traveled to the game and provided superb support throughout the game, and Evatt said that backing was vital for his side, especially after going down to ten men.

“The support was magnificent it was really outstanding. The last ten minutes when we were down to ten men and the players were fighting for their lives and scrapping for a clean sheet, they were really there for them and that is what I want. I wasn’t meaning to be critical last week, all I was saying is that yes we were poor, really poor but sometimes the crowd can be the ones to lift the players and last week I didn’t quite think that was there but they’ve been outstanding all season and there is no criticism from me. They’ve backed me 100%, backed the players 100% and I know they will continue to do that.”


The game saw the Gaffer return to his old club for the first time as a visiting manager and he was delighted with the reception he recieved, but stressed the importance of focusing on the job at hand with the Bluebirds.

“I’ve got a lot of admiration for this football club and a lot of feeling for it. Obviously I still live here and it kind of just makes me proud of what I achieved here as player and what they think of me as a person, theres not many away managers that can come here and get receptions like that and I genuinely wish them all the best for the rest of the season now. I hope they steer clear from relegation, John’s a fantastic manager and it’s a fantastic football club.

But my job is with Barrow and I’m really excited about what we are doing here. I’m really excited at the progress the club is making, the new owners have been fantastic and are backing me 100% and hopefully now we can drive this club towards the football league because I genuinely think we have a fantastic chance, a real chance.”