Evatt: Players Eager To Perform And Make Club Proud[You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]Ian Evatt is ready to embrace the challenge of competing with the best as Wanderers look to make their mark on League One.
The Whites kick off their second season back at this level at fancied Ipswich Town on Saturday.
Evatt backed up a promotion-winning campaign in 2020/21 by guiding his new-look team to a ninth-place finish last term.
And the Wanderers’ boss is aiming to keep the revival going.
“The players are well prepared. I think we’ve all improved – myself included in my time here – and hopefully we can go ahead and prove that this season,” said Evatt as he prepares to embark on a third season in charge at the University of Bolton Stadium.[You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]
“We’ve got a really good group of players who are eager to go and perform well and make this football club proud.
“It’s a really tough league. I think it’s only improved again this year; vast amounts of money being spent, some huge clubs, spending huge money.
“There’s no given right based on history or size of football club, but we are going to go and try make this club proud and earn the right to be there or thereabouts.”
Wanderers secured a top-10 spot last term on a superb run in the second half of the campaign.
Evatt’s men lost just three of their last 22 games as the arrival of half-a-dozen new players in the January transfer market paid dividends.
That run has generated a feel-good factor which has seen almost 14,000 supporters snap up season tickets, with close to 1,500 travelling fans set to back the Whites at Portman Road.
Ipswich are also hoping to build on their improved form since the turn of the year with a busy summer's transfer activity marking the Tractor Boys down as potential top-six candidates.[You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]
That makes it a tough start for the Whites but Evatt is happy to embrace the optimism surrounding his own team based on a season’s work.
“We want to do ourselves justice. Yes, we want to get off to a flyer and get off to a good start,” added Evatt, who will be missing only Josh Sheehan, Lloyd Isgrove and recent recruit Eoin Toal from a fully-fit squad.
“But the season isn’t going to be won or lost on Saturday. It’s a long old season and hopefully we’ll be there or thereabouts come May
“I’d rather there be expectancy and belief than not. I think we’ve earned that right by the way we’ve performed.
“That’s why people are excited, because they think we’re going to be good.
“There’s no harm in that or shame in that but we have to go out there and earn it.
“We believe we’re good. We’ve got good confidence. It’s not arrogance – it’s confidence. But we have to go out there and prove it.
“We’re not entitled to do anything. We have to go out there and earn it and hopefully we can do that – starting on Saturday.”[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]