WANDERERS boss Ian Evatt says it was “a natural progression” to name Ricardo Santos as the club’s new captain.

Santos wore the captain’s armband for the first time as the Whites fought back from 2-0 down to earn a point against Gillingham.

Evatt says the defender is a popular figure in the dressing room confident and insists he has what it takes to be a successful skipper at Bolton.

“For me it’s the next stage in Rico’s development,” he said. “We want him to become that leader.

“Rico is a fantastic person, someone that all the players respect, someone that all the staff respect and he leads out on the pitch with his performances so it was a natural progression for him to become captain of this football club. 

“He’s ably assisted by Eoin who has so much more to give. Yes, he’s had a tough time, we all have, but we’ll back him, we’ll support him and he showed today again what a fantastic player he is and how much it means to him.

“He loves playing for this football club.”

Evatt was delighted with his side’s reaction against Gillingham after going 2-0 down after a challenging couple of weeks.

The Bolton boss recalled how his side bounced back from a poor run last season and is confident they can do it again.

“I’ve had some really tough spells. We got beat I think around this time 4-0 at Leyton Orient and we were 20th in League Two,” he added.

“People in football have very short memories and sometimes managers can as well, and it’s really hard to reflect because you’re always looking at the next challenge. 

“I’ve had a lot of success in a short space of time and I’m used to success and I want success and when things aren’t going well, it hurts me more than anybody else, trust me.

“But we have to take it on the chin. We’ve had a wobble, yes, but it is only a wobble, the players will come again and they showed that second half.” 

Evatt also revealed that George Johnston was taken off at half-time due to a knee problem, while Dapo Afolayan suffered a shoulder injury.

He said: “(George) has got a bad knee. Just when he dribbled into the box at the end of the first half, he felt a bit of a crunch at the back of his knee. We don’t know what that is.

“Dapo, I think his shoulder went out and then came back in again second half, so that shows you where he’s at. The way he finished the game and how he went on to the end in probably a lot of pain.

“Hopefully we can make sure he’s okay because he’s a huge player for us.

“The most important thing for me today is that we ignore what went on first half, we try and put to the back of our minds the last 10 days, and we focus on what was a really positive second half, a real good fightback.

“Now we have to regroup, reset and go again next week.”