Evatt urges senior players to make a stand

Following what has been a disappointing start to the League Two campaign, Bolton Wanderers boss Ian Evatt has called on the squad’s more senior players to make a stand.

After relegation from League One last season, the Trotters have endured a tough start to life in the fourth tier of English football, and promotion looks to be a lofty target at this stage of the campaign. Bolton are continuing to rely on a host of young faces in the squad and the cut and thrust nature of League Two is proving to be a real challenge for the Lancashire outfit at this early stage of the season.

Evatt has revealed it was the pair of Antoni Sarcevic and Eoin Doyle who, after scoring a dramatic late equaliser to draw 3-3 at Barrow, told the rest of the Bolton players at Holker Street that the result was not good enough. That is exactly what Evatt is looking for and the boss has spoken of how important it is that standards are driven up from within the group and not just from the management team.

“The senior players are important and I think the world of all my players but particularly the senior ones,” Evatt was quoted by the Manchester Evening News. He added that Doyle and Sarcevic “have really stepped up to the plate this last couple of weeks.”

The Macron Stadium” (CC BY 2.0) by Reading Tom

The two look set to be given the responsibility of raising the standards in the group and encouraging or challenging others as they see fit. Skipper Sarcevic has plenty of experience in different squads, with the former Manchester City youth player featuring for a host of clubs before making the switch from Plymouth Argyle to Bolton in 2017.

Of course the same can also be said for Irishman Doyle, with the 32-year-old enjoying spells with the likes of Hibernian and Cardiff City before joining the Trotters this year. It’s that kind of experience that will be essential over the weeks and months to come, as Bolton look to try and find some positive form.

DSC02260” (CC BY-SA 2.0) by joncandy

It was only in 2019 that Bolton were playing the likes of Aston Villa, Leeds United and Sheffield United in the Championship. May 5 of that year was the last game for Bolton in the second tier, against a Nottingham Forest side who are now 40/1 to win the title in the Championship betting. It just shows how far they have fallen in the subsequent years.

After back-to-back relegations, now is a time to try and bring about some stability at Bolton before things get potentially worse. The Trotters have plenty of time to turn things around this season, and it will be intriguing to see how the likes of Doyle and Sarcevic can foster a winning mentality in the group that can help them climb up the standings this term.