IAN Evatt says he will learn a lesson from reaction to his weekend comments on goalkeeper Billy Crellin – but vowed never to stop telling his players the truth he feels they need to hear.

The Wanderers boss apologised again for telling the 20-year-old Fleetwood Town loanee to “man up” after his mistake in Saturday’s 1-1 draw against Cambridge United.

Evatt has come under fire from all quarters over the last 48 hours for a phrase which often carries modern connotations connected to mental health.

Speaking ahead of his side’s home game against Bradford City, Evatt regretted his choice of words but insists Crellin understood his reasons for speaking in the press about his recent form.

“It hurt me, to be honest, because I am not that guy,” Evatt told The Bolton News. “I am an honest man with integrity and one that tells his players the truth of what I expect of them, it’s the same to you guys in the media. I have been portrayed as something I am not, and that’s my own fault because of the terminology I used.

“What I actually meant was that when you are progressing and developing from a young player to a senior player it takes a certain level to step up to. It isn’t kids’ football any more, it’s adults’ football.

“I should have chosen my words better. However, I will say that anyone outside of our football circle and our four walls does not understand my relationship with the team, the players or Billy Crellin, or his character.

“From day one – and the Barrow players who played for me or those of any team I captained will say the same thing – I always speak with honesty and the truth.

“I don’t say anything to you guys that I wouldn’t say to their face.

“What I said was the truth. We need to be better. I also said he was a fantastic goalie and I also believe that but that doesn’t get highlighted.

“People that don’t understand that relationship or that I speak with honesty and the truth, it is more difficult for them to understand why I did what I did.”

Asked if he knew the modern interpretation of “man up” Evatt said he would be more selective with what he said in the future.

“When emotions are high after games, sometimes you can say things I don’t really mean. I should have chosen a better phrase – ‘step up’ maybe,” he added.

“Anyone who knows me know I would never mean to offend anyone or that I am a chauvinist, or anything else. It just isn’t me.

“I am an honest guy, I work very hard and I should have chosen my words better, so that’s my error.

“I am a young manager and it’s part of my education to use better terms and phrases than what I used on Saturday.”

Wanderers host Bradford tomorrow night looking for their first home win of the season and Evatt is looking forward to the opportunity to get talking about the football again.

“The disappointing thing – and again it’s my own fault – was that we spent the weekend talking about what I said rather than the performance and how well be played,” he said.

“The performance was excellent, we should have won the game, there’s no two ways about it. But now we move on to Bradford and it’s a chance to move on.

“This club needs three points and we certainly want a home win.”