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In opposition: Bolton Wanderers - what they're saying

13 April 2022

Ian Evatt has continued to mark himself out as one of the top young managers operating in the Sky Bet EFL.

Having guided Barrow back into the Football League for the first time in 48 years, he moved to Bolton Wanderers and secured an immediate promotion out of League Two. 

Under Evatt, in their first season back in League One, the Trotters are finishing the season in excellent form, suggesting they will be among the promotion challengers next term. 

Evatt spent the majority of his playing career with Blackpool, winning promotion into the Championship and then Premier League. 

His career came to a close with Chesterfield, and his life in management started with a caretaker spell in charge of the Spireites. 

Evatt on Bolton’s ability to avoid defeat:  

“Scoring late is a good habit to have. I think we’ve rode our luck at times. 

“But considering we don’t have an awful lot to play for, the amount of injuries we’ve had recently, some illness in camp – to show that fight and willingness to get back against Sheffield Wednesday last week is a credit to the team.” 

On the mindset behind the push for a top ten finish: 

“That’s all we can do. We’ve just got to be professional and keep competing until the very end. 

“That’s our responsibility. There’s an expectancy at this football club to win matches, and we want to do that. 

“I think we’ve lost three games since the middle of January, which is an excellent record and one we want to keep up.” 

On good performances against the division’s best sides: 

“In the space of a week we played against three sides that consider themselves top teams in this league and in the top ten. 

“What I will say is that we’ve been competitive against the top teams, but it’s our aim and ambition to get ahead of them. So, we know we’ve still got work to do. 

“There’s work to be done in the summer. We know there’s appositive signs out there. We just need to be professional from now until the end of the season.” 

On Bolton scoring so many late goals:  

“I think the trend started last year. I have seen stats where I think we’re the highest scorers in the last 15 minutes of games in English football, and I don’t think it’ a coincidence. I think it’s down to attitude. 

“Yes, we want to be possession-based; we want to be aesthetically pleasing, but the last 10 minutes of games if you feel like our centre forwards are dominating and we’re asking them questions and they look a bit nervous, go and do it, go and play forwards and run forwards and see what we can create.”

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