Liam Gordon can have a bright future at Wanderers – if he can conqueror his self-doubts.
That’s the opinion of Bolton boss Ian Evatt, who believes the young full-back is starting to mature into a genuine first team contender.
Gordon played 90 minutes in the penalty shootout win against Barnsley on Tuesday night, his first start for the club since November.
The Guyana international was sent out of loan to Dagenham and Redbridge for the second half of last season after struggling to hold down a regular spot in the team.
But after returning in good form this summer, Gordon is now showing signs of realising his potential.
“Liam has been excellent pre-season,” Evatt said. “He is still very young and we have to realise that. Liam just needs to believe in himself.
“Sometimes I feel like he self-doubts, especially in these big games, and that started to creep in last season.
“But he has got lots of talent. We believe in him, so he has got to start believing in himself, and if he does, then he has got a bright future.”
Evatt revealed that he tore into his players at half time on Tuesday evening after feeling they had shown their Championship opponents too much respect.
“I was absolutely delighted with the second half,” he said. “But first half they got an absolute rocket at half-time, one of the worst I’ve probably ever been with them, because I just didn’t feel like it was us.
“I thought we were too passive, we were too nice and we just needed to be more aggressive and play at our tempo and make them worry about us.
“Second half we did that perfectly and we pinned them back and I thought we dominated the territory in the game. We just didn’t get the goal we probably deserved but delighted to get it over the line in the end.”