Why Ian Evatt isn’t afraid to be ruthless at Bolton Wanderers in transfer window & changing team

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Ian Evatt says it will not be hard to make ruthless decisions in the summer transfer window at Bolton Wanderers and with his squad moving forwards despite a great second half of the season as he aims for a promotion fight next campaign.

Wanderers finished ninth in the third tier of English football this campaign with a total of 73 points, a fine achievement for a newly promoted side.

A total of 73 points would in most seasons be enough to have the Whites in and around the top six, but the high standards in League One this campaign meant that Bolton were 10 points behind sixth placed Wycombe Wanderers.

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Wanderers are aiming for a promotion charge in earnest next season and targeting fighting for at least the top six and the play-offs, with work focusing on bringing in reinforcements to aid that.

Wanderers lost only three games between January 15 and the end of April with some fantastic form, but Evatt has explained why, despite that, it is not hard to be ruthless in terms of decisions in the weeks and months to come when it comes to augmenting and changing the squad.

The Wanderers boss has had back-to-back promotions with old club Barrow and the Whites and he admits it ‘hurts’ up to a point that Bolton were ultimately not in the mix to go up this campaign, despite it still being a largely successful season.

And the Bolton boss is confident they can fill the gaps they need to in the squad to help get them to the next level.

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He said: “Not really hard (to be ruthless) especially when I’m used to winning, I’m used to being in competitive teams and being in promotion places and fights. It kind of hurts that we’re not this season, even though many will view it as a successful year and in many ways it has been a successful year.

“I’m ultra competitive and I just want to win and want to succeed and I want it now and sometimes I have to have some perspective and manage myself a little bit with regard to that.

“But I know where we need to improve and I’ll be given the full backing to make sure we get what we need in the summer. There’s no doubt about that and there’s conversations taking place all the time. The board has been absolutely fantastic in their support of me.

“We’ve had conversations, we know exactly where we want to get to and what it’s going to require for us to get there and together we’re looking at doing it. It’s as simple as that. It’s exciting. I think next season we’re going to be in a much better place and a stronger place.

“We’re going to have a real depth of squad. We know where we need to improve and it’s really exciting.”

A top 10 finish for a newly promoted side is a fine achievement and where the club is now a world away from the one Evatt inherited when he walked through the door in the summer of 2020.

Evatt believes the club is in a completely different place now and the environment has completely changed around the University of Bolton Stadium with happy faces once again.

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He believes it is evidence of the connection rebuilt with the club’s support and that things are going in the right direction at Wanderers.

He said: “From where we were two years ago and where we were when I first walked in the door, it’s a completely different place, club, environment, culture and I’m not saying that’s just down to me.

“In general it starts from the top and Sharon’s leadership but the club on a whole and the way people are greeted around the stadium now. I’m talking about non-football staff, hotel staff, football staff, everyone has got a smile on their face again, everyone seems happy to be working.

“When I walked in, no-one said hello, everyone just walked past each other with their heads down, it was like they were damaged but that damage has been repaired now and we can see where we’re going, we can see where we’re heading and everyone’s excited again and that’s fantastic.

“That shows with the connection we’ve build from the fans and the crowd again and the way they’re buying season tickets. This club is going one way and one way only and we know that. It’s exciting and we’re looking forward to next year very much.”



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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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