“I believe Bolton will be a Premier League football team again”

Ian Evatt predicts he and Bolton Wanderers will be in the Premier League in the near future.

On the 10th anniversary of Bolton Wanderers’ withdrawal from the Premier League, Ian Evatt has predicted he will be the man to bring the club back to its former glories.

Exactly a decade ago Owen Coyle’s side failed to beat Stoke City on the final day of the season to end an 11-year spell at the pinnacle of English football.

A costly gamble to bounce back immediately the following season failed – and the club’s gradual decline ended with administration and fourth-tier football for just the second time in its history.

Evatt and the owners of Football Ventures have since corrected Bolton’s course and many supporters look to next season in Ligue 1 with great optimism.

The Wanderers boss, who has been in charge for just under two years, believes the club are constantly rebuilding with a view to securing promotion to the Championship and, possibly, top flight.

“I’ve said it many times and people can mistake that for arrogance, but it’s not, it’s just confidence and belief,” he said. “I believe I will be a Premier League manager and I believe Bolton will be a Premier League football team again.

“Now there are a lot of things that need to go on before that becomes possible, but the reason I took this job in the first place was that I didn’t want stepping stones, I wanted a club that I could develop. , creating a brand and the identity that could take us on this journey. It still does today.

“There are so many exciting things happening – the B team, the Academy, here at the stadium – it’s an amazing time to be manager of this football club.

“I was able to reconnect with the fans because we have reached the end of the pandemic, at least in terms of football.

“It’s a big vision for me to bring this club back there. It’s where we think it should be.

“It’s good to have those dreams and end goals, but you have to have the foundation and the structure to get us there. It can be small steps along the way.”

Evatt wanted promotion this season but saw his side drop 10 play-off points despite an impressive run of results after January.

He does admit, however, that the company’s restructuring process – which still has just two and a half years out of administration and the more recent effects of a global pandemic – may have left Bolton vulnerable if they had increased by one level.

“Although we all wanted to get there – and I more than most – I don’t think we were ready,” he said.

“When we get there, we want to stay. We also want to be competitive in this league.

“I don’t think we were on or off the pitch, but I know Sharon puts us in a position where we will be competitive in the Championship, by improving the infrastructure.”

Evatt’s own success at Bolton and at his former club Barrow caught his eye – and inevitably his name was casually linked to jobs higher up the footballing pyramid.

He is adamant, however, that promises made by chairman Sharon Brittan and the board make him confident the club will match his own determination to compete at a higher level.

“I know Sharon and the board share the same ambition. It’s aligned,” he told The Bolton News.

“That’s why I love my job. I love working with them because they share the same vision and dreams.

“It’s the nature of the beast that when managers are successful, and I’ve had success when I’m young in terms of management, or if the way you play is seen as attractive, you’re bound to other things. But I’m not interested in other jobs, that’s my job and what I want to do.

“I love every minute of this job and my motivation is to bring the club back where it belongs. That’s how it will stay.”

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