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Ian Evatt seeking to conduct early business in transfer market

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Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse

Ian Evatt wants to get moving in the transfer market at Wanderers.

Pre-season training begins in a little over a month, by which time the Bolton boss wants to have most of his new players signed up and ready to go.

Evatt experienced difficulties last summer when despite an early return to the training ground, issues with recruitment and the practicalities of working with a large group of players in a pandemic made the task of bedding down the squad a tougher one than usual.

This time around, promotion winners such as Gethin Jones, Lloyd Isgrove, Alex Baptiste and Andy Tutte have been retained, giving Evatt a head start as he prepares for League One.

His next task is to bring new recruits up to the same level.

“We want to get our work done early because I feel like it is beneficial to have a completed squad, or more of less completed, for the start of pre-season,” he said. “That way we have got six weeks to work hard and implement that style of play and the game understanding that the new players are going to need.

“The reason we have retained quite a few is that continuity, they understand what I want now and we can only improve from that foundation.

“The new players are going to have to learn, and learn quickly. But it will be great. It is exciting what we are doing here and there is a lot of hard work going on behind the scenes on recruitment.

“We have some good targets and we’re doing our best to get those targets, but in a sustainable manner – that is what is important for the club and for its future.”

Wanderers announced yesterday that more than 6,000 season tickets have now been renewed ahead of Sunday’s early purchase deadline.

Fans who purchased a ticket last season have been given a 10 per cent discount if they renew by June 6.

The club has now confirmed that season tickets will go on open sale from Monday, June 7, which will inevitably bring another upsurge in sales.

Evatt is delighted by the uptake so far and has called on all Wanderers fans to back the club, if they can.

“It’s massive,” he said. “Paul (Holliday) sent me a line the other day and I’m going to steal it – me and my players have committed ourselves to the football club, now I want the fans to commit their futures to the club by buying season tickets.

“It helps me do my job, helps the board of directors make the club sustainable, and we need their support, simple as that.

“Let’s get behind each other, pull in the right direction, and hopefully we can achieve something special next season.”

Asked if he had a message to supporters who are undecided whether to purchase a season ticket for the 2021/22 campaign, the Bolton boss added: “If you are undecided, you obviously haven’t seen what happened here last season, and if you’d seen it first-hand I am sure you would look forward to buying a ticket.

“This club is only moving in one direction, and that is up.

“We have lots of hard work to do, there are lots of exciting things happening behind the scenes, but my advice is ‘get on board’ because it is going to be a hell of a journey.”


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