‘Concentrate on own club’ – Ian Evatt on Bolton’s Wigan rivalry and sends Latics fans message

Bolton Wanderers boss Ian Evatt has had his say on his club’s rivalry with Wigan Athletic and though he admits he can sometimes be provocative, he believes they are not Latics fans who he believes should concentrate on their own club.

Wanderers make the short journey to the DW Stadium to take on the Latics tomorrow in League One.

The 12.30pm kick-off sees automatic promotion chasing Wigan take on a Bolton side sitting midtable and with slim play-off hopes.

READMORE: Bolton Wanderers boss Ian Evatt on Wigan Athletic & setting record straight after ’embarrassed’ loss

The derby clash will see Wanderers aim to avenge the 4-0 loss suffered at the hands of Leam Richardson’s side in October.

The rivalry is a relatively young one to an extent compared to some other ones Wanderers have, with the teams only playing one another for the first time in 1983, before regular meetings for the rest of the decade and into the 1990s, and especially when both sides were in the Premier League.

Evatt admits he is sometimes provocative with his comments which brings attention from Latics fans at times.

But the Bolton boss believes Wigan supporters ought to concentrate on their own club and that if they are promoted and Wanderers are not by the end of April, they will be congratulated by Evatt aim to take his side into the Championship to meet them in the next campaign.

He said: “Some of the things I say are provocative. I know that I am provocative, there is no denying that. But some of the things I say are for the benefit of my fans, my club and my players.

“It is not for them (Wigan fans) to read and want to listen to, I have no interest in them listening or reading what I have to say. They should concentrate on their own club like we concentrate on ours.

“Come the end of the season, if they have been promoted and we have not then they have been better than us and we will hold our hands up and say, ‘congratulations, we will hopefully see you next year’. That is how it have to be

“Rivalries are there every season to get bragging rights, to play two really competitive matches and see who the better team is on the day. They were better than us here, we have full confidence to go there and try to be better than them on Saturday, and if we can then great.”

Wanderers were humbled 4-0 by the Latics when these two sides last met at the University of Bolton Stadium in October.

Strikes from Will Keane, Callum Lang and a James McClean brace gave the visitors victory on that day.

Evatt believes his side did not do themselves justice in that encounter and they will seek to put it right tomorrow, but believes his club have the ability to deal with pressure and adversity like that day brought and that there is a bright future at Wanderers.

He said: “We were bitterly, bitterly disappointed with how it played out. It wasn’t a 4-0 game but we didn’t do ourselves justice.

“Obviously, we had suffered with injuries prior to the game and we are a completely different team now. But it left a bitter taste and it is something we want to put right.

“A true marker of anybody really is how they come through and deal with adversity. You need adversity to build character, there is no two ways about that.

“We have been through a lot together and come out the other side really well last season, very well this season. It shows that we have got some good, strong characters in this dressing room and myself and the rest of my staff are really strong characters as well, and we can cope with pressure.

“There is always going to be pressure here, it’s the nature of managing a really big football club. But I embrace that. I love my job, I love what we are doing and what we are building.

“I think everyone is equally as excited and I think that is why we have sold so many season tickets. People can see a future and that was not always the case here.”


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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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