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Ian Evatt excited by ex-England and Huddersfield Town appointment

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Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse

Ian Evatt says he can learn from new technical performance director Chris Markham – but refuses to make comparisons with Tobias Phoenix.

Wanderers have strengthened their backroom with the appointment of former Huddersfield Town head of analysis Markham, who also worked in the England national team set-up under Gareth Southgate.

The move comes roughly three months since the departure of Phoenix as head of football operations, a role which was meant to bridge the gap between the coaching staff and boardroom but was widely viewed as an unsuccessful experiment.

Evatt had input in Markham getting the post and his arrival is expected to be the first step in an overhaul of the recruitment and scouting department.

But the Bolton boss believes the new man must be judged on his own merits.

“I am not going to compare Chris and Tobias,” he told The Bolton News. “The positives are that me and Chris are firmly aligned in the vision we want for Bolton Wanderers. He brings a huge skillset to the table and he’s helping with my education as well.

“People forget that I’m a young manager as well, this is only my third year of being a manager and I had some success early to get this fantastic job now. But I am still progressing and I learn new things all the time. It’s great to bounce ideas off someone who worked with the England manager, or with David Wagner when he was a younger coach at Huddersfield.

“It is about improving and doing the best for Bolton Wanderers. That’s what we all want, the end goal. The board, Chris, myself, all have the very best interests of Bolton at heart and want to progress. We have the same vision and I hope it’ll come to fruition soon.”

Markham’s appointment was confirmed on the same day as a new chief financial officer in Scott Lindsay.

Evatt believes both men will strengthen the club, which will in turn improve his team’s chances on the pitch.

“I’ve said many times in the media that we’re trying to progress as a football club and get the right people in the right roles and doing the right jobs,” he said. “Scott, I’m going to meet for the first time today, he’s very much a board appointment.

“My relationship with the board is excellent so if they think he’s the right character and the right person for the job then I’m fully on board with that.

“With Chris, I’ve had a bit more of a say, to be honest. I recommended Chris to the board.

“Chris is somebody that has obviously had a fantastic career and being a young man, he’s done a lot in the game.

“He was at Huddersfield for eight years, they progressed really well, was in touch and in contact with a lot of their managers from the modern coach, the Wagners, to the old school ones in Lee Clark and then went to the FA and has worked with England’s first team, worked with England from all ages and has a lot of skills and the way the game’s going now and the way the game’s moving on, he brings a lot to the table and a bit of everything really.

“He’s excellent with data, an excellent analyst, excellent with recruitment so he’ll be a big help to me moving forwards.”


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