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Why honesty is always the best policy for Bolton Wanderers boss

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Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse

Why honesty is always the best policy for Bolton Wanderers boss 12408598

Honesty is the best policy is a motto that Ian Evatt has lived by as a player, and now as a manager.

Whether it is the thoughts of supporters, those of his players, or his own, he would rather have an open discussion about something than tiptoe around the topic.

That is why he was all in favour of Lloyd Isgrove knocking on his door this week to ask what he needed to do to nail down a place in his side. That is why Evatt told him of his expectations, in no uncertain terms.

And that is why he feels there is a mutual respect between himself and the rest of the dressing room that, allied with their charge up the League Two table, has helped to generate a togetherness.

"As footballers and as football people and as fans of the game you are always going to have difference of opinions," said Evatt.

"I always explain to the players why I've done what I've done and why I've gone with a team to suit the opposition.

"For instance, I had a conversation that I'm sure he won't mind me sharing with you with Lloyd Isgrove. Lloyd came to me and said 'Gaffer, what do I have to do to keep my place in the team rather than be rotated?' and I said 'You play in all the big games, especially the away games, because out of possession you're the one I trust the most because your work ethic is incredible, in and out of possession, but you need to add assists and goals to your game. And if you were scoring and assisting, I wouldn't need to rotate'.

"That's the kind of honesty that we have in our group. They all understand why I do things. I do what I see fit to win us that particular match, it's not personal, there's no vendettas, it's just business and trying to win a game as best I can."

Why honesty is always the best policy for Bolton Wanderers boss 12408597

And he does this because it is the kind of candid conversation he appreciated when the boot was on the other foot.

"I didn’t always have that because sometimes managers like to appease people. I hate being appeased. I hate it. You ask my family, you ask people that know me and anyone that appeases me just sticks out like a sore thumb. I’d rather you just say the truth to my face," he explained.

"We all see the game differently, but providing a manager is open and honest and upfront with his views of the game and what he believes that you need to do better to get in the team and stay in the team - you might not always agree as a player, but what you will do is respect it. You respect he’s been honest and you respect his view and then if he gives you the opportunity to go away and work at it.

"It’s as simple as that. As long as you’ve got that relationship with the players where they understand what they need to do to get into your team, then there’s no grey areas."

And rather than discourage the inquisition, Evatt said he welcomed those conversations with his players should they ever need them.

"That’s what it’s all about. If you’re not in the team, I don’t expect you to be happy, of course not, but what I do expect is that you understand the reasons why you’re not and then you do what you can to get yourself back in the team," said the Bolton boss.

"That might take a week, that might take a month, but I can’t ignore you forever, providing you’re doing the same things day to day and doing all the things I’ve asked you to do.

"Then it just comes down to decision making and timing. That’s what I’m paid to do but as long as they understand where they’re at and where the situation is, there’s no issues there. We might not always agree, but we’ll always have that mutual respect.”

Evatt added: "I deal in black and white and honesty and that’s what I like. Again, I might not always agree with everybody, but I’ll certainly respect their opinions, providing they’re being respectful and then we’ll move on with our relationship.

"We might agree to disagree, we might not, but at least then as a player you’ve got the opportunity to go away and work at the game that your manager’s asked you to work on.”


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