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Bodvarsson: Why I have no grudges, and why Evatt will be hungrier

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Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse

Bodvarsson: Why I have no grudges, and why Evatt will be hungrier 18202979

Jon Dadi Bodvarsson has revealed why he feels Ian Evatt will be extra motivated for success next season.

Jon Dadi Bodvarsson has revealed why he feels Ian Evatt will be extra motivated for success next season.

The Icelandic striker says he holds no “no grudges” with the club or his former manager, who took the decision to release him this summer after two-and-a-half seasons.

Evatt met with him a week after the play-off final defeat against Oxford United, with the emotions of Wembley still very much at the surface.

But Bodvarsson, who scored 25 goals in 94 appearances for the Whites, believes the hurt of missing out on promotion will provide the Bolton boss with fuel to succeed next term.

“When we met you could see on his face that he was still very shaken,” he told The Bolton News. “It shows how much he cares, and he really does care about the football club. He was so confident, like you, me and everyone else that we were going to do it, and the way it ended was very hard to take emotionally for everyone.

“Knowing him and his mentality, I think he is going to be even more hungry than ever for the club, himself and the lads to succeed next season.”

On Wanderers’ decision not to renew his contract this summer, Bodvarsson said his experience in the game had prepared him for the worst, even though he hoped to continue at a club where he had felt so comfortable.

“I can see both sides,” he said. “The way it all ended, maybe they need a bit of a restart, a lot of changes. I am not getting any younger as well, I’m 32, and that can also be a factor even though I know I have plenty left.

“For me, I was hoping to stay for at least another year. But basically I was told in the football fashion ‘thanks for your service’ and everyone was very respectful and professional about it.

“The decision was made that I wouldn’t continue and that was that. There isn’t another business like it. My wife is always surprised by everything – but I’m like: ‘No, this is normal!’ Welcome to football.

“I don’t hold any grudges with the decision, I understand it. I would have hoped to stay for longer because I had a brilliant time in the two-and-half years I was here. It really helped me find myself a bit, as a player and a person.”

Bodvarsson issued a message of thanks to the Bolton supporters on social media on learning of his release and admits the backing he got from them after signing in January 2022 helped to get his whole career back on track.

“That is what I was most grateful for, the fans, and the way I was taken from day one,” he said. “It was incredible.

“It gives you so much confidence as a player that you see they notice I am doing the right thing, notice what I am doing on the pitch. It makes you motivated to do even better.

“I was coming from a bad spell at Millwall and I was lost a little bit as a football player for the years I was there, I didn’t enjoy it. There were some brilliant people working there but it was just the football and the style of play, it didn’t suit me. When that happens you don’t feel a part of the team and I just couldn’t change to suit that style.

“When I came to Bolton it was completely different. Everything felt better.”


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