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Marcus Maddison will come good, insists boss Ian Evatt

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Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse

Ian Evatt has backed Marcus Maddison to transform from ‘maverick’ to match-winner this season.

The winger came to Wanderers in the January transfer window with a reputation of being tricky to manage, and got off to an inauspicious start with a red card, which was later rescinded, on his debut after making his temporary move from Charlton Athletic.

This week he was in the headlines as the Daily Mail alleged he had missed a match for oversleeping – a claim that was refuted by the club and branded a “non-story”, reiterating that Maddison was not included in the squad to face Barrow due to illness.

Maddison has been on the bench for the three games since, coming on in the wins over Oldham and Cambridge United.

In six years with former club Peterborough he scored 60 goals in almost 250 appearances.

He has yet to get off the mark for Wanderers, after falling out of favour with Charlton boss Lee Bowyer and eventually heading to the north west. But, with the right man-management, Evatt is confident the 27-year-old can have a massive impact in the run-in.

“I think it’s been a slowish start and I think he’s putting more pressure on himself than anybody else really because of what he’s achieved in the past,” said Evatt.

“But what he has to understand and realise is there isn’t a switch you can just flick on and off and when you’ve not been playing regular football for a period now, you’ve been out of it and training with youth teams, to come straight back into a first team environment and think you’re going to be the same player he was at Peterborough two years ago, it doesn’t work like that.

“It’s about building bridges and building platforms again to be able to succeed, so he has to be patient with himself, we have to be patient with him and the fans also need to be patient because there’s certainly a very talented player there.

“We’ve just got to get him fitter, more dynamic, get him used to what we do and men’s football again and demands in and out of possession. He isn’t just coming on to affect the game. He has to do the work for the team without the ball as well and when he gets that and understands that, he’ll play more regularly, but for now it’s about putting the foundations in place to getting him back to the player he was a couple of years ago.”

Evatt explained the occasion has to be suitable too.

“I think there are games that are going to suit him more where we might need someone who can do something different to open a door and unlock a door.

“Bradford away, it wasn’t really that case, but like Oldham away when they were down to 10 and we didn’t have that defensive responsibility so much, he can go and try and express himself and do his thing.

“It’s similar with Lloyd (Isgrove), if Marcus came and asked me what do I need to do to play week in, week out, and not just be saved for those types of games, then I’d say give me Lloyd’s work ethic – that’s the difference really.

“But Marcus will win us a game. I’m telling you now, Marcus – before the end of the season – will win us a game and he has to have that belief that when his opportunity comes and we need him to do something, he will do it, and that’s why he’s been bought into the club.

“I have that belief in them all.”


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