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Ian Evatt reveals the motivation behind Bolton's recent revival

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Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse

Wanderers remember only too well what life was like at the other end of the League Two table – and Ian Evatt believes that will push them on to greater success.

The Whites are now riding high in fourth and tracking down an automatic promotion spot over the last nine games.

Yet not too long ago criticism was pouring down in some quarters for the manager and his players after a difficult first half of the campaign.

Evatt believes the experience has made some of his squad stronger as they cope with different pressures at the top end of the table.

“The lads are hungry,” he said. “They are determined, they want this more than anything so there is no complacency.

“They have trained outstandingly well all week and I am really pleased with what I saw on the training pitch, I said that on Thursday, and they’ve taken in in the game.

“We have all suffered this season and it is that suffering that is really motivating us right now.

“We don’t want to go back there and we don’t want to disappoint anyone anymore. We want to get the job done.”

Gaining consistency has taken time for Wanderers but no team has taken more points in League Two since the end of September, highlighting just how the poor early season form affected the mood around the club.

Evatt’s business in the January window, bringing in the likes of Kieran Lee, MJ Williams, Declan John and Dapo Afolayan, has also been a major factor in the resurgence.

The manager says he has noticed a change in players’ mentality across the board since the unbeaten run began at the start of February, with his style of play becoming increasingly cohesive.

“I think we’re starting to get it and pick it up,” he said of the expansive football which brought mixed results early on. “We have added quality to the squad and the players can now do what I am asking them to do, so that is important.

“I have got a group of hungry players that want success and want to win and they are now used to winning. Winning becomes an addiction and they are now addicted to winning. There is no harm in that, and let’s hope we can carry it on.

“We have nine more big games and a big game coming up on Good Friday (at home to Colchester).”


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