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'Never again' - Evatt reflects on 'man-up' comment on return to Cambridge

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karlypants

karlypants
Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse

'Never again' - Evatt reflects on 'man-up' comment on return to Cambridge 12942654

Ian Evatt can’t forget his previous away day at Cambridge United, or the media storm that followed.

The Bolton boss found himself in the centre of a national story in October last year when comments about his on-loan goalkeeper Billy Crellin hit the headlines.

Speaking after a 1-1 draw at the Abbey Stadium, Evatt was asked about Crellin’s poor form and a series of high-profile mistakes he had made since arriving at Bolton from Fleetwood.

His response, which included the ill-advised choice of phrase that the teenager had to “man up,” ended up being discussed for days afterwards due to its mental health connotations, and left Evatt having to make an immediate apology.

Several months later, he feels the experience, and the fallout, taught him a valuable lesson.

“I have learned shed loads,” he said. “I think we all know the context of the statement I made – but it is still something I learned from and it is something I will never do again.

“As a young manager you are going to make mistakes, and I am still making them, but it is also important that you learn from them.

“It was something I wasn’t proud of and I certainly won’t be making the same ones them again.”

Evatt’s comment became the topic of national debate for a few days after the Cambridge game after a standalone audio clip – without context - circulated quickly on social media.

“There were things said about me personally that weekend that I have stored and logged,” he said.

“One famous pundit in their newspaper column called me a coward that weekend, and I won’t forget it.

“I won’t name names but one day I will get to meet them and I will make sure they realise I am not a coward. I apologised and I will learn from it.

“Things grow legs quickly on the social media network and we do have a responsibility to ensure that what we say to you guys is politically correct and the right thing to say.

“I must stress again that I am sorry for what was said and that I have learned from it, that is the most important thing.”

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