PATIENCE paid off for Ryan Delaney as he proved to Bolton boss Ian Evatt that he could be a part of his Wanderers evolution.

The outlook did not seem great for the former Rochdale defender after he was overlooked at the start of the season – and it was even mooted he may even be moved on to make way for new signings.

But two months on, the Irishman has forced his way into Evatt’s plans and is likely to be one of the first names on the team-sheet at Leyton Orient tomorrow afternoon.

One of a handful of players who have turned their Bolton fortunes around in a short space of time, Delaney has now cemented a spot on the left side of the back three.

And his manager has put that change in status down to a positive attitude whilst he was out of the first team plans.

“Ryan was very unlucky early on,” Evatt told The Bolton News. “I must say the way he came back the very start of pre-season and how fit he was showed me that he wanted to fight for his place at this football club, which was great.

“Obviously we recruited players as well in his position and again he didn’t moan, he didn’t whinge, we had conversations about what he needed to improve on and where I thought he needed to improve to get in the team consistently.

“He stuck his head down, he went away, he worked hard and football’s a funny game and it comes around quickly and if you’re in or out the team, things can change really quickly and Ryan was really patient.

“He kept on working hard on his game kept on working hard on the things where I thought he could improve and he’s been outstanding and he’s been a big part of why we’ve started to get consistent results.”

While the proverbial penny may have dropped for some players in Evatt’s squad on the levels they have to hit to stay in the side, the Whites boss admits he has also had to be flexible to bring the best out of others.

“I think that when you’re continuing with repetition on the training ground and we’re consistent with our messaging and what we expect and want from the players, they’ll start to understand it better.

“Also, from my own point of view, we’ve had to adapt one or two things to suit the individual. We can recruit who you want but until you get them actually in the building and understand their character and understand what their real strengths are, you then formulate a plan to suit.

“For instance Antoni Sarcevic, we’ve figured out now is more suited to running forwards and using his physical output, getting in the box and arriving late a la Frank Lampard, and we’re getting more out of him than being a deeper midfield player trying to build attacks.

“It’s a mixture of everything and I think they’re improving on the training ground and getting the information better, but also we’re figuring our individuals and what suits them best.”