IAN Evatt admits he should have seen Wanderers’ slow start to the season coming.

Three straight defeats at the start of the League Two campaign had fans questioning the Whites’ billing as pre-season title favourites – and though they have since steadied the ship with four points from their last two games, they have yet to hit anything like top form.

Evatt holds his hands up and says the start his players had made to the summer made him think the team would hit the ground running.

But, in hindsight, he now wishes he had checked his own expectations slightly until his squad had more time to bed down.

After making 20 signings in the transfer window, yesterday’s deadline day passed without incident and left Luton Town loanee Peter Kioso as the final man through the door.

Evatt is happy he has enough to see him through a condensed fixture list which includes five more games this month, after which he feels he will have a better idea of where his team are up to.

“Put some results together this month and then it is a different place,” he told The Bolton News. “That’s footy.

“Let’s be honest it hasn’t yet gone how we wanted it to. But everyone here is on the same page.

“I went through it with Barrow last season, we had seven points after nine games, and still won the league comfortably.

“The season before we lost six straight games and still finished the highest place in about 40 years or so.  You can go through those runs.

“None of us, with the way we started pre-season, would have expected it.

“But maybe, in hindsight, we should have done?

“Maybe we should have seen it coming a bit because we’d brought so many players through the door. 

“But if that’s our bad run out of the way in September then I am more than happy with that.

“You don’t get any prizes in September, you get them in April and May.

“That’s the main thing for us that we’re up there in the end.”

While Evatt is able to focus on the longer game, his opposite number at Salford City, Graham Alexander, lost his job this week despite not yet losing a league game this season.

The Ammies – who were the bookmakers’ tip to be Bolton’s main rivals this season – have brought in a number of big names and are believed to have the biggest budget in the division by some distance.

Evatt has sympathy for Alexander, who has been replaced on an interim basis by Salford part-owner Paul Scholes, but feels he was judged by different criteria than results alone.

“If you just look at the table and the results, they are fifth in the division so it seems harsh but people nowadays – and especially at that club, which is spending mega-money – people will always have an opinion. It’s style and substance,” he said.

“There is certainly substance there but I don’t know that they were too happy about the style and how they were going about things.

“That’s football and it happens. I think Graham is a good guy and a good coach, he’ll come again, but you cannot rest on your laurels in football, you have to keep pushing because you are never, ever safe.

“You have to keep a lot of people happy. Football is a game where everybody has an opinion. It is what makes the game what it is. Everyone is an expert.

“You have to keep people happy and it’s not easy to do.

“Thankfully, everyone seems to be on the right page here.

“We know where we are heading and what we want, it is just taking a bit more time than we initially thought.

“I don’t think there is anything wrong with that, we have got 20 new players, we’re happy, and we’ll get there in the end, that’s the most important thing.”