Manager Ian Evatt says Bolton dangerman Dapo Afolayan was left "bruised and battered" from their clash with Carlisle United.

The Trotters boss said the West Ham loanee deserved more protection from the officials in the game.

Afolayan was an influential figure as Bolton got the better of Carlisle in the 1-0 win.

Evatt, though, felt the 23-year-old came in for some rough treatment.

"Dapo was brilliant first half, breathtaking,” said Evatt in the Bolton News.

“I just wish he’d get more protection because the amount of fouls and kicks that he gets and referees need to do more to protect these skill players.

"He is bruised and battered and he doesn't deserve that.”

It was Afolayan's shot that came back off the post before being turned home by Eoin Doyle for the game's decisive moment.

The forward was later substituted with 18 minutes remaining.

Evatt, meanwhile, felt his team dealt well with what United threw at them.

Carlisle had the better of the second half but couldn't find a way past the third-placed side's rearguard.

Evatt, whose side remain a point clear of the play-off places with three games to go, added: "In the first half we were brilliant - we controlled it, played and passed with speed, tempo and accuracy.

"But we didn't get the second goal - the second half we also started well but again didn't get the second goal.

"We probably should have had a penalty [for a challenge on Afolayan by George Tanner] but after that we wer resilient.

"They [Carlisle] threw caution to the wind, putting bodies forward, even the keeper coming forward for set plays.

"We dealt with everything they chucked at us which was great."

Evatt added that Bolton expected to have to defend against a certain style of football from the Blues.

He added of United's attempted fightback: "It was a tough game, but you have to understand we'd got the goal already.

"There was a lot on the line for us and we're going to have nerves.

"They were trying to get into the play-offs, and that's their style of play - by playing [for] territory, set plays, long throws. But we kept another clean sheet."