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'Start afresh' - Evatt warns of extra competition next season at Wanderers

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Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse

Ian Evatt has warned his promotion winners that they will have a fight on their hands next season to stay in the side.

Wanderers secured Gethin Jones, Lloyd Isgrove, Dapo Afolayan, Andy Tutte and Alex Baptiste to new deals last week as they continued to build towards life back in League One.

But Evatt, who himself signed a new three-year contract, has said he wants to bring extra competition to the squad this summer.

“First and foremost, we wanted some continuity,” he said. “Last season we didn’t have that. We had a clear base to build from but it took time to implement what we wanted to do.

“This season we have got a structure in place and a foundation to the squad and the team that we want to keep going.

“They have earned those new contracts, they have been fantastic, but they know next season is going to be even more competitive, not just because we are in a higher division but we are going to be bringing in players who are going to be competing for those starting spots.

“It’s start afresh again. First day of pre-season, everyone needs to hit the ground running because we need to be bigger and better, it’s as simple as that.”

Evatt believes Wanderers should aim to be challenging at the top again next season, bidding to return to a level of football he feels the clubs belongs.

“We all know that we want this club at least back at the top of the Championship, and next season we want to compete and make sure we’re at the top end of League One,” he said.

“That has to be our goal. It was our goal last season to get promoted and it will be our goal to get promoted again. Whether it happens or not – there is a lot of hard work that needs to go on to make that achievable, but you have to keep thinking you can be the best, otherwise there is no point.”


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