Ian Evatt feels Ryan Delaney's form has been a 'big part' of why Bolton Wanderers have started to pick up results of late.
The 24-year-old Irish central defender has been an ever present in the Wanderers starting XI throughout October.
He was initially not selected by Evatt at the start of the League Two campaign, but has since gone on to form a solid back three partnership with a combination of Ricardo Almeida Santos, Harry Brockbank and Alex Baptiste.
And Wanderers head coach Evatt admits that Delaney was 'unlucky' earlier on in the season after impressing with his fitness when returning for pre-season.
But the central defender knuckled down and worked hard to improve and earn his place in the team, Evatt believing that the 'outstanding' Delaney has been a 'big part' of Wanderers' recent results which has seen them lose only once in their last six League Two encounters and are currently three unbeaten.
Evatt said: “Ryan was very unlucky early on. I must say the way he came back the very start of pre-season and how fit he was showed me that he wanted to fight for his place at this football club, which was great.
"Obviously we recruited players as well in his position and again he didn’t moan, he didn’t winge, we had conversations about what he needed to improve on and where I thought he needed to improve to get in the team consistently.
"He stuck his head down, he went away, he worked hard and football’s a funny game and it comes around quickly and if you’re in or out the team, things can change really quickly and Ryan was really patient.
"He kept on working hard on his game kept on working hard on the things where I thought he could improve and he’s been outstanding and he’s been a big part of why we’ve started to get consistent results."
Aside from the nightmare opening 10 minutes against Barrow where Wanderers found themselves 2-0 early on, the Trotters defence has been relatively solid in their recent three fixtures.
Evatt believes that games that Wanderers have been beaten in this season have not come from the opposition being the better side, but more from Bolton being the architects of their own downfall.
But the Bolton head coach feels he has seen a 'marked improvement' of late and has challenged the Wanderers squad to continue that ahead of taking on Leyton Orient this weekend.
He said: “I think if look back on the first 10 minutes at Barrow, the goals we actually conceded were massively avoidable. The free kick and the second one.
"The actual all round start wasn’t that bad, it was just the goals we conceded and some of that wasn’t necessarily down to really bad defending, more down to individual errors which earlier on in the season have been costing us, but the pleasing thing for me all along is that the games we’ve been beat in, we haven’t been beaten comfortably and we’ve more or less beat ourselves.
"It hasn’t been the opposition or what they’ve done because they’re a better team than us. It’s more with our individual errors and the mistakes and we were blowing our own legs off at times with catastrophic errors, not just simple errors, that were costing us games and we were being punished for everything and sometimes in football that happens.
"At times this season I’ve felt like a leaking hosepipe where you put your finger on one hole and then another one appears and another one appears. We seem to be finding the right medicine for our problems.
"I’m not going to start running before we can work, we’re nowhere near we want to be, but I am seeing marked improvement but we must continue it.
"There’s games coming thick and fast and you can be on a good run or a bad run as quick as a week or two weeks in this division this season with the condensed nature of the division and the fixture list. The next game’s Leyton Orient, we’ll concentrate on them.
"We’ve gone through Bradford today, strengths, weaknesses, positives, negatives, and there were both regardless of result, so we’ll go again and try and improve on Saturday."