Bolton Wanderers are gearing up for the most crucial league campaign in their recent history. The Trotters will be playing in the fourth division of English football for the first time in 33 years. Expectations and optimism is high as new manager Ian Evatt prepares to lead the team. However, it is imperative his revolution gets a flying start.
Evatt has been busy since his appointment as Bolton manager. He has started from the bottom and has spent his time putting together a team ready to compete for promotion. His 17 new recruits are ready for battle and more could follow between now and the end of the transfer window.
The Ian Evatt Bolton Era Needs a Flying Start
Plenty of Optimism Surrounding the New Manager
Evatt’s appointment as Bolton manager was greeted with plenty of optimism. Their relegation to League Two was inevitable following their administration in 2019. The owners have turned to an ambitious, young manager ready to test himself in the Football League.
Evatt was a stalwart in his playing years progressing through the football league even captaining Blackpool in the Premier League. However, his managerial career has taken him to non-league which brought him huge success. He led Barrow to the football league for the first time in 48 years, producing a team full of flair and confidence. While he may have left with his stock high, he will be under no illusions the pressure is on for instant success at Bolton.
As well as promotion on his CV, Evatt brings an attractive style of play built from the back. His three centre-halves are calm and collected on the ball and regularly start attacks, with his two strikers tasked with scoring the goals. Expect a similar style implemented at Bolton with last season’s League Two top scorer Eoin Doyle likely to thrive up front.
The fans are optimistic about Bolton’s season but Ian Evatt needs a strong start to the season otherwise the pressure will increase. They are amongst the favourites for promotion and a strong start to the campaign will be vital to their chances of success.
Evatt’s New Look Team Needs to Gel Quickly
Another turbulent summer of player transition has taken place at Bolton. Pretty much all of the team which previous manager Keith Hill put together has gone. Evatt has firmly stamped his authority building a team in his image.
The team is a mix of experienced heads like Alex Baptiste, Eoin Doyle and Matt Gilks and raw players ready to realise their potential like Billy Crellin, Liam Gordon and Jak Hickman. Evatt has been reunited with his former Blackpool teammates Baptiste and Gilks. Their experience will be vital over the course of the season.
Evatt has also incorporated the youngsters Keith Hill saw potential in. Ronan Darcy and Dennis Politic are expected to make a significant contribution to the team this season. Both are raw and have plenty of talent, something Evatt will be hoping to nurture.
The issues with a mass amount of signings is the time they get to gel. 17 new arrivals, and counting, and the pressure will be on for the team to gel and show they can play together. There is no denying this is a huge turnover of players and the pressure is on. A strong start is imperative and the quicker they gel as a team, the better Bolton’s chances of success this season.
Bolton Have Turned to Two of Last Season’s Star Players
While Bolton’s transfer business has been mass, there have certainly been some shrewd signings made. Striker Eoin Doyle is an excellent signing from Swindon Town.
The striker was outstanding as he fired Swindon to promotion and the League Two title. His goals and overall play made him the best striker in the league last season. Swindon were desperate to keep him but ultimately they couldn’t offer the financial package Bolton did.
The Northern Irishman has agreed a three-year deal and he knew this was the best option at this stage of his career. He is tasked with firing the goals and ultimately secure Bolton an instant return to League One.
Another shrewd acquisition is creative midfielder Antoni Sarcevic. The midfielder was outstanding in Ryan Lowe’s Plymouth Argyle team. He played a crucial role as Plymouth secured promotion. However, a return to the North of England was high on his agenda despite his success in the South West.
Plymouth’s loss is Bolton’s gain, and certainly, he is a quality midfielder at this level. He provides goals and assists. Evatt will hope he can adapt to his team instantly having played a similar style at Plymouth.
Bolton’s success this season could be reliant on how the relationship between Sarcevic and Doyle progresses.
Stability at the Top Could Finally Lead to Success on the Pitch
Any Bolton fan will tell you, the football club has been a mess off the field for far too long. Years of struggle and pain nearly led to their extinction. However, Football Ventures protracted takeover was finally completed in 2019.
They are determined to stamp their authority and bring success to a fanbase which has suffered for too long. The points deduction handed to the club was out of their hands and, realistically, they knew relegation was inevitable for some time.
Planning for League Two has been high on their agenda and certainly, they have backed Ian Evatt in every way possible. They are building good relations with the fans and optimism at Bolton for once is high.
The club appear to finally be stable off the pitch and the owners will be confident Evatt can deliver instant success.
Evatt Knows a Strong Start is Imperative
The league season is drawing nearer for Evatt and his team. He will certainly have learnt a lot about his team after suffering defeat in his first official game in charge. The Trotters were knocked out of the Carabao Cup by league rivals Bradford City. While Evatt won’t be too concerned about a cup run, a defeat could be concerning for his team’s belief and confidence.
A strong start to their league campaign is imperative. Their opening two games see them take on potential promotion rivals in Forest Green and Colchester United. They then face Newport County, Harrogate Town and Grimsby Town. Five crucial games to kick off their league season. Victories are crucial in more ways than one for Bolton. As well as points, wins will instil confidence, belief and energy into their new-look team.
The pressure is already on Ian Evatt and failure to start the season well will increase the pressure further. He is under no illusions how huge this season is for Bolton with an instant return to League One the prime objective. Anything other than promotion will be deemed a failed season – they will not want to be stuck in the fourth tier of English football.