IAN Evatt believes he is working against a ‘losing mentality’ at Bolton Wanderers.

Despite wholesale changes over the summer, the Whites head coach feels he is still battling “ingrained” negative vibes at the University of Bolton Stadium.

Evatt has signed 17 new players and brought his own backroom staff but has suffered three successive losses in his first three competitive outings.

Speaking after the 1-0 home defeat to Forest Green, Evatt said: “We can only change it with hard work and getting results.

“We almost have to shade the players from that and make sure they are not being affected by it.

“It is frustrating because we’re in the middle of a pandemic and we need the fans to back us and support us, but we can’t have them.

“We have to find other ways around it. That means working hard on the training pitch and finding other ways around it.

“It’s ingrained in this club and we have to change it. It hasn’t come from the owners – Sharon (Brittan) is fantastic, one of the most positive people I have ever met, she’s fantastic.

“The staff are positive but you can almost smell it around the place so we have to eradicate it by getting results. You only get it with hard work.”

Evatt admits his side is lacking some self-belief – struggling to overcome an early miss from Eoin Doyle and then a second-half goal from Carl Winchester.

“They look like they are lacking a bit of confidence and belief at the moment and that can work at both ends. If we concede one or miss one, it seems to affect us. We have to work harder to stop that happening,” he said.

“When you are missing chances it seems to get everyone nervous, we don’t need to be. We don’t need to be – Eoin Doyle will take more chances than he will miss. At the moment I think he’s trying a bit too hard and when it doesn’t go in it saps everyone’s energy. We can’t let that happen.”