IAN Evatt faces the biggest call of his Bolton Wanderers managerial career this week as he decides whether to stick with goalkeeper Billy Crellin.

Calls for the Fleetwood loanee to be dropped from the side have intensified after two high-profile errors in Saturday’s 3-2 FA Cup defeat to Crewe Alexandra.

Evatt maintained that Crellin was not solely to blame for the second-half goals which saw Bolton stumble at the first hurdle for the second successive season.

But after shipping 12 goals in the last six games, the Wanderers boss admits he has got some serious thinking to do ahead of Friday night’s televised clash with Salford City at the UniBol.

Asked after Saturday’s games if he had the goalkeeper options to consider changes, Evatt told The Bolton News: “Yeah, we have got the options, of course we have. We’ve got young Matty (Alexander) and we’ve got Matt Gilks, who doubles up as the goalkeeping coach and a player.

“But I gave Billy my backing and I wanted to see a reaction from him and I think I got one against Bradford, and since then, we’ve conceded probably too many goals.

“There’s lots of things wrong at the moment that need fixing and we’ll look at them.

“We’ll analyse the game, and we’ll take the emotion out of it to see where we stand.

“We need to make decisions because we need to get results so there is going to be changes at some stage all over the pitch because that’s the nature of the beast when you’re not winning football matches.”

Crellin’s recent form has never been far away from the headlines, be it after criticism from Evatt after the 1-1 draw at Cambridge United, or in the two penalty saves he has made since, against Bradford and Leyton Orient.

The 20-year-old arrived in the summer with only nine senior appearances under his belt for Fleetwood, alongside loan spells at Chorley and FC United, but highly recommended by keeper coach Gilks after working together at Fleetwood.

Crellin has represented England at youth level and had been targeted by Premier League Everton just 16 months ago but his consistency since joining Bolton has been a concern for the coaching staff.

Speaking after Saturday’s game, Evatt said he was not going to single out the youngster for mistakes in the game.

“Obviously he’s the last port of call but he’s not the only one, there’s others that are there that should do better as well,” he said.

“Tom White should do better for the second goal, he gets beat far too easily in the box.

“Unfortunately for Bill, obviously it gets highlighted with the media and everyone else because he’s the goalkeeper and when goalkeepers don’t make saves or make mistakes, then they get criticised for it.

“I’m not going to criticise Billy today. I think there was lots of other things that we could have done to avoid the goals around the team, and we didn’t. But the positives are we saw flashes of brilliance from us, but not consistent enough.”