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'Suits us!' - Whites skipper Sarcevic backs club to cope with step up in class

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karlypants

karlypants
Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse

'Suits us!' - Whites skipper Sarcevic backs club to cope with step up in class 12635704

Antoni Sarcevic is confident Wanderers will not struggle with the class gap in League One.

The Bolton skipper has more than 150 appearances in the third tier, last playing there in 2019 for Plymouth Argyle.

He believes the expansive brand of football Ian Evatt introduced last season will be a better fit for some of the bigger stadia Wanderers will encounter next season.

“A lot of us have said the league might suit us better,” he told The Bolton News. “I honestly think this team can step up to the next level, and more.

“No disrespect to League Two, there are good players at that level, but in general it is a very, very physical and demanding league and every team seems to have that long throw – Cheltenham’s is a weapon in itself.

“Going up the league with the way bigger teams want to play I think it will be a better game of football.

“We have a year of experience now playing the way the manager wants to, and the core of this squad is definitely capable of going and playing that way again against the Sunderlands, the Portsmouths and the Sheffield Wednesdays.”

Although Wanderers rectified their home form as last season wore on, Sarcevic feels the better facilities at League One level will mean the UniBol is less of a ‘day out’ for opposition teams.

“You always felt teams came here and felt it was a cup final,” he said. “I think there will be teams that do that next season – but there are also some really big sides where that kind of stadium is just a normality. I think that’s a leveller for us, “It’s the same going away. Pitches will be better, we can go and play at some of the bigger stadiums and play our natural game.

“This year will stand us in good stead because we have learned we can mix it, especially the last four months.

“And a full pre-season together will be massive as well. I’m just excited about it.”

Sarcevic’s last season in League One ended in disappointment, leaving him feeling he still has some unfinished business at that level.

“With Plymouth we had a good year in League One and only missed out on the play-offs by about two points,” he said.

“Year after it was a bit like Bolton where there was a fresh, brand-new team, but we ended up getting relegated. I stayed to try and get them back up.

“Now I want to take League One like it’s just another league. I can’t see the standard jumping too much and I think we can challenge. We have good enough core of the squad to compete.”

Going back to Home Park will also be an occasion Sarcevic will be circling on the calendar when the fixture list is revealed next month.

“Plymouth were unbelievable for me, and for my family,” he said.

“I took them down there and they took us in. You can’t ask for anything better than that.

“Feeling at home but being on the other side of the country was great. They made us welcome from day one and that showed because I enjoyed my football too.

“It will be good to see some familiar faces and I’ll be taking the family down there for the whole weekend again.

“The gaffer down there, Lowey, and Schuey, they both messaged me to congratulate me when we went up. It’s a really well-run club and the Bolton fans will love a day out down there.”

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