IAN Evatt has revealed what has fuelled his successful start to management.

The new Wanderers head coach took his first press conference yesterday, promising mend a disconnect between fans and the club.

Evatt’s relative inexperience makes him a gamble in the eyes of some – but any doubts are likely to fuel the 38-year-old as he begins a rebuilding job at the University of Bolton Stadium.

Three years ago he took charge of Chesterfield for three games as they bowed out of the Football League, and despite showing an interest in taking the job permanently he was overlooked in favour of the more experienced Martin Allen.

His rejection after 22 days in the dugout with the Spireites did drive him on, however, and just a month later he took on the challenge of rebuilding Barrow in the National League.

Evatt – who played in all four divisions as a defender with Blackpool, Derby, QPR and Chesterfield – looks back on his first job with mixed feelings.

“Chesterfield was different because they were already relegated out of the Football League and it was damage limitation more than anything else,” he said. “But what it did do is it gave me that thirst and appetite to be a manager.

“I have always seen myself as a manager, particularly in the last 10 years or so of my playing career.

“Sometimes negativity, or someone saying ‘no you can’t do it that way’ inspires you. That definitely does for me, I have done it throughout my whole career.

“As a centre-half people said: ‘Is he quick enough? Is he good enough? But I won player of the year trophies in those seasons. It is what fires my belly.

“At Barrow people told me that I couldn’t get promoted out of the National League playing that way. Again, yes we can. I put down a platform, started the process, and achieved it.

“I see the same thing at Bolton. So much negativity has happened around this football club in recent times but again – to emphasise – it’s gone, it’s finished, this is a fresh start.

“I will build the fanbase again. You have to be good people, first and foremost, if you are going to build that trust again. Only then will you get that buy-in from coming to the stadium, enjoying what you are seeing, being proud of the football club again.”

Evatt has made no secret of the fact he expects Wanderers to lead from the front in League Two but he feels the second half of last season, as Barrow’s promotion credentials started to show, will stand him in good stead.

“When you are top of the league, which Barrow were for six months, then you soon have that target on your back and you soon develop that reputation and respect,” he said.

“My job as the head coach is to give the players that belief. That’s one of the most important skillsets. They have to go out there and play with freedom and enjoy themselves, I suppose, not worry about the negative stuff.

“Fear isn’t a stop sign, it’s a gateway to push through. And once you get through the fear, amazing things can happen. There are amazing things to look forward to next season.”

Evatt is also confident that the club can begin recruiting quickly.

Tobias Phoenix was not one of the staff members who was furloughed during the pandemic, so has been able keep tabs on the transfer market as it developed – offering the new head coach a fast start as he looks to get down to business.

“We are working hard behind the scenes at getting the right bodies in the building,” he said.

“Hopefully that will progress – but I suppose the most important thing was to get me over the line.

“Now we can move on. And I would hope that now I’m here that can move pretty quickly.

"We need an experienced, strong spine which can cope with the physical demands of League Two because we have to remember we are in League Two. But also we need young and fresh energy that can to spread around that, and play with the speed and intensity."