Ian Evatt felt Bolton Wanderers' performance in the loss against Sunderland was better than they showed in the rout of Ipswich Town as he took repsonsibility for the way his team play out from the back but can experience nervy moments by doing so.
Bolton went behind in the first half after Carl Winchester struck in the early stages of the encounter.
But Wanderers ought to have got something out of the game, especially after the break with a much improved second half performance.
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Eoin Doyle missed a free header from close range with a chance the striker would normally expect to convert, which George Johnston lashed wide after meeting Dapo Afolayan's cross as Wanderers ultimately slipped to a 1-0 defeat.
It is a stark contrast to earlier in September when Wanderers beat Ipswich Town 5-2 at Portman Road.
But Evatt believes the performance at the Stadium of Light was better than that, except Wanderers did not take the chances they carved out, as he took solace in the way his side performed, particularly after the break.
And he believes when the likes of Amadou Bakayoko and Xavier Amaechi return to the fold after layoffs from injuries, options in the final third will increase and means they will only be looking up.
He said: "I just thought we were gaining control when we conceded that first goal.
“That was the game. Both team’s strengths are their deficiencies, if you know what I mean, because it was our full-backs and wide forwards against theirs and because we are so expansive it was toe-to-toe. The goal was conceded was very similar to Ipswich, only on the other side.
“The downside is that we didn’t take our chances. The performance was no different, in fact I’d go as far to say as the performance was better.
“It is just the way we play. And at times there are going to be nervy moments where they win the ball high up against us playing out. And that is on me, I am asking them to play that way and we are doing it to create space higher up the pitch.
“Second half when we do it well, we pinned them in and it became wave after wave.
“It is human nature to say if you play like that and don’t get a result you will be disappointed.
“They can also feel how good we are and what we are doing to teams. When that changes and we get Bakayoko and Amaechi back, our final third options improve and we can make changes that are going to give us opportunities then things will get better.
“I don’t even think it is fine margins. Sometimes you come away and scratch your head.
“The most important thing – and it isn’t easy to do because of the result – but you have to reflect on how far we have come. Last season we were going to places like Southend and Crawley having to graft and grind, finding a way to win 1-0.
"This season we are braver, further down the line in development but it is still a team that is improving. Once we get those final thirds back in – Baka and Amaechi – this is a proper football team going one way.”