The Bolton boss openly admits he borrowed a page from Pep Guardiola’s manual as he set about reinventing his side last summer.
And with an 11-game unbeaten streak under his belt, the signs are that Evatt is making headway at the University of Bolton Stadium in what has developed into an unexpected late dash for automatic promotion.
Recent success means Wanderers’ reputation for possession football has now started to precede them – and after Port Vale frustrated for long spells last week, Evatt expects tomorrow’s opponents Walsall to provided similarly stubborn opposition.
“We’ve been working on it, giving the team some pictures of patterns of play that we think can cause teams problems when they sit deep and try to defend,” he explained. “We have to have more than one string to our bow. Yes, we want to score a certain way but if we can’t and teams bank up then what is the next scenario.
“We need to be more patient sometimes because I think we try and score in one breath and there’s a time for that. The time to do that is in transition when the ball is high up the pitch, the opposition are more susceptible and we can play forward more quickly. But when teams are banked up it is about more intricate movement, moving the ball side to side until it does open up – then it is time to go in. We need to get better at knowing the difference between transitions and when teams are sitting in.”
When Wanderers get it right - as they did for long spells in their previous home game against Cambridge - they are now proving to be one of the division’s great entertainers.
Doing that more consistently, says Evatt, is the next trick.
Bolton will have to do without skipper Antoni Sarcevic, who stands to miss several weeks with a hamstring injury, and could bring in Lloyd Isgrove as a replacement.
Evatt believes any side at this level will struggle to contain his team if they can deliver what he wants more consistently.
“It’s about our rhythm, really, the tempo of passing from back to front, our movement, and teams do struggle to cope with it,” he said. “I believe it’s high level, high tariff, and we’ve had some comparisons of late to Manchester City – and obviously we’re nowhere near them – but the way we are trying to play is very similar and teams are not used to playing against that type of team in League Two and League One.
“I keep talking about nailing down those fine details on the training ground and that is where we will improve on things. If we get that right then teams will struggle against us because weight of pressure means we should score – but it has to be wave after wave.
“When you get that goal teams should start to come out, and at that point we should begin to pick them off.
“At times this season we have struggled to get that first goal. Of late we have done it better and we will have to be better again Saturday than we were at Port Vale.”