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In Opposition: Bolton Wanderers – what they’re saying

23 November 2021

Ian Evatt brought attacking, possession-based football to Bolton Wanderers when he became manager in June 2020.

The style was dubbed “Barrowcelona” during his two years at Barrow.

In his first season with Bolton, Evatt was named Sky Bet League Two Manager of the Month three times on his way to helping Bolton finish the season third in the league table and earn automatic promotion to League One.

For this achievement, Evatt was awarded with a new three-year contract from the club. As a player, Evatt spent the majority of his senior career with Blackpool, playing six seasons with the club (2007-13) in more than 200 games as both a central midfielder and central defender.

He finished his career at Chesterfield (2013-18) – having played with the club from 2003-05, where he played in more than 135 games for the club.

Manager Ian Evatt…

On the team coming together to counter recent difficulties:

“We’ve got a huge injury list, and people are going down with serious injuries all the time. For now, we have to batten down the hatches and stick together as a group, stick together as a club, and hopefully get the support of the fan base to charge us on because this is challenging.

“In times of adversity, we should really show what this football club is all about. We’ll keep fighting, we’ll keep scrapping. Hopefully, with two big homes games coming up, we can get some points on the board.”

On the injuries to Amadou Bakayoko and Josh Sheehan:

“Josh Sheehan’s got a ruptured ACL which will keep him out for nine months. It’s devastating news, and devastating to Josh. He’ll get our full support, the club’s full support, the fan’s full support for a speedy and good recovery.

“Bakayoko has a grade two hamstring tear, and he’ll be out four to six weeks. Just as he’s getting back up to speed, he’s broke down again. He’s never really had any injuries throughout his career, but now it seems that he’s getting more at once this season.”

On how they counter the injuries mentally:

“It’s tough and challenging. But we’ve got what we’ve got, and we need to rally stick together, keep focused and have that siege mentality – us against the world. That’s how it feels right now.”

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