Managers Reaction: Eastleigh (H)

Ian Evatt’s reaction to our win over Eastleigh!

Bluebirds boss Ian Evatt was delighted with the way his side adapted to the conditions against Eastleigh on Saturday, earning a hard fought 2-0 win.

“It was never going to be pretty in the conditions, but they have shown that they are a proper team and they can battle, they can fight and they’ve dug it out.

We deserved to win the game and we deserved to win the game more comfortably than 2-0. Again we need to be more clinical in the oppositions box, Dior has had three excellent chances in the second half, we’ve had one disallowed for offside too.

I’m proud of them all today though that they have had to tough it out against a team that is used to that physical battle, that are used to having to scrap and fight. We are a football team but today we have shown we can do the ugly side of things too.”


Whilst the first two results of the season weren’t ideal Evatt was adamant he wasn’t going to start worrying and said his players proved any doubters wrong with a strong performance.

“It’s down to the players, it’s not down to me or tactics. I think a lot of them have answered one or two questions that have been thrown at them this week.

I said all along that I wasn’t going to hit the panic button, we had two games in four days and yeah we lost them both, but it was more the manner of the defeat on Tuesday that disappointed us, it was three goals and three set pieces. It looks a bad result but when you take the three set pieces out of it and analyse it, we probably edged the football match.”


The manager reserved special praise for Josh Kay, who produced a second man of the match performance in the space of a week in yet another new position at wing back.

“He can do it, he’s a footballer. If someone asks your occupation you don’t say I’m a centre half, you say you’re a footballer – you have to be able to adapt and play in different positions. He’s done that, he’s 21 and he is developing all the time both mentally and physically and he is coming on leaps and bounds. He has been excellent so far this season.”


As well as singling out Kay, Evatt gave a special mention to a Bluebirds defence which stood up to a physical Eastleigh side.

“I’m proud of the back line, with Joel as well because he is part of that, they’ve shown today that they really can defend their box, they’ve put their bodies on the line, blocked shots and headed balls.

I was a centre half at the end of the day and it used to wind me up no end when strikers would miss chance after chance and then you’re under immense pressure at the back. One mistake and it ends up in your net and everyone blames you and says you can’t defend as a team again.

But the lads stood up and I’m really proud of the back line, Joel (Dixon) and Jason (Taylor) doing the dirty work in front of them.”


Whilst the Bluebirds had to scrap it out in the blustery conditions, the manager was quick to point out that the depth of his squad means they’re ready for all eventualities, even if it didn’t suit some of those on the bench on Saturday.

“It’s a long old season, we have to keep everyone on board and keep everyone involved with what we are doing. Today it wasn’t a day for Oli Greaves who is a fantastic footballer, or for a Jack Hindle or Lewis Hardcastle. It was a game where with the weather conditions and the manner of the defeat on Tuesday, we had to scrap it out and fight. No discredit to those, but they are excellent footballers whose strength is with the ball, not having to play in these conditions and win tackles, win second balls and win headers.

It might not have been their day today but it will certainly be there day at some point this season. We have a 20 man squad and I have complete belief in every single one of them.”