Evans hails Swede smell of success

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Bolton assistant manager Chris Evans has paid a rich tribute to rejuvenated striker Johan Elmander following the Sweden international's impressive return to goalscoring form.

The 27-year-old, who became the Trotters' club-record signing when he arrived from Toulouse in an £8.2million deal in the summer, managed a debut goal in the 3-1 opening-day win over Stoke but an eight-match scoring drought raised fears he would prove a big-money flop.

"Johan started the season well when he scored in the first game against Stoke," said Evans. "He was particularly fit after a good pre-season programme but he was unfortunate to get injured."

He added: "He was then out for a few weeks and he's taken time to get back into his stride.

"But I think from our point of view he had been playing very well anyway.

"The icing on the cake is scoring goals, which is what he's judged on. Thankfully for him he's started to knock them in."

After a hamstring injury Elmander has since returned to form by scoring three goals in his last two appearances to help Gary Megson's men to stunning victories at Middlesbrough and Sunderland respectively.

Elmander has benefited from playing in a a more central role, with less emphasis placed upon him to fulfil defensive duties and cover the channels.

And Evans insists the added burden of his huge transfer fee has not weighed heavily on the Swede's shoulders.

"I don't think from the player's point of view, the price tag has anything to do with him," said Evans. "He got the opportunity to come to a new club and Johan chose to come to us when he could have gone anywhere. He has a proven goalscoring record, which he appears to be showing here."

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Stoke City
Bolton Wanderers
Johan Elmander

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