WANDERERS boss Ian Evatt has called the situation at former club Derby County a “tragedy”.

Evatt joined the Rams’ youth ranks at the age of 10 and went on to spend over a decade at the club, signing his first professional contract in 1998.

Derby have been in administration since September and find themselves in the Championship drop zone, having been deducted 21 points so far this season.

The EFL have given the Rams’ administrators until the beginning of March to provide proof of how the club will be funded for the remainder of the campaign.

“It’s a tragedy really. We’ve been through it here and we just hope that somebody will save them,” said Evatt.

“I spent many years there – from 10 years old to 21 – and met a lot of good people. A fantastic football club.

“(They are) very well supported and need someone to take it on. But it has to be someone with the right vision for that club.

“It can be fantastic, but there aren’t many Sharon Brittans around and it just shows you how fortunate we are.”

Evatt also praised Wayne Rooney, who recently turned down an approach from Everton as he bids to keep Derby in the Championship.

The Bolton boss says loyalty is rare in football and backed Rooney to have “a fantastic career” in management.

He added: “Wayne has been incredible. The way he’s conducted himself and managed to get points with very little resources shows what he’s capable of as a young manager.

“This industry can be a toxic place and a poisonous place – it’s very much about self-preservation. There’s not much loyalty in this game.

“But it just shows you when there is loyalty, it can really pay off and I think Wayne’s been really loyal to Derby. I hope he manages to keep them in the league – he deserves that.

“Loyalty can be really rewarding and we’ve got that in spades here with our owner and the ownership group, and the way our staff conduct themselves.

“It’s fantastic so long may that continue.”