Ian Evatt keen to see ‘best of’ Aaron Collins after hitman opens Bolton account

By Sports Desk March 02, 2024

Aaron Collins opened his Bolton goalscoring account but manager Ian Evatt believes the best is yet to come from the former Bristol Rovers star.

Collins’ 66th-minute strike sealed a 2-0 victory for promotion hunting Wanderers, bouncing back after successive defeats to Blackpool and Wigan.

George Thomason set Evatt’s side on the way to a badly needed win with his fifth of the campaign 10 minutes from the break.

“It was important for Aaron to get off the mark so I am pleased for him,” said Evatt.

“To come to a massive club with a large price tag for the level and the huge weight of expectation is sometimes a difficult thing to do.

“Aaron has moved away from home and living in and out of hotels can be tough. He needs time to settle down.

“In the second half we saw more of the Aaron Collins of what we are going to see in the future. He has real quality but we haven’t seen the best of him.”

Evatt finally managed a smile after a week he described as feeling “like a lifetime. It’s been a harsh few days but the players responded great.

“The only criticism is we want more reward for our good play and hard work.

“We deserved more goals and could have made it more comfortable for everyone. But the win is the most important thing.”

Thomason’s goal was his fifth of the season but he later took an unwanted piece of club history.

His 70th-minute challenge on James Brophy yielded a 17th yellow card of the campaign, one more than the record he previously shared with El Hadji Diouf.

Brophy went closest to equalising for otherwise-disappointing Cambridge just before the hour.

The miss was compounded when Collins turned in Paris Maghoma’s pass six minutes later and then had another effort kicked off the line.

“We did as much as we could,” said United interim boss Barry Corr. “You have to respect the opponent.

“They ask loads of questions of you and create overloads all over the pitch.

“In the first half we were pinned into a lower block and maybe became passive. But in terms of effort and application they were spot on.

“The better team won, however the result away to Bolton isn’t going to determine our season.”

Corr has been in temporary charge for three games since Neil Harris’s shock return to Millwall.

“The players need some stability and (a new manager) will definitely help them,” Corr added. “I would imagine it will be from Monday.”

Former Swansea and Leeds boss Garry Monk is the favourite to take over.

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