IAN Evatt has made an impassioned plea to Wanderers fans for patience as he bids to turn fortunes around.

The message comes after the manager of tomorrow night's opponents Mansfield Town, Nigel Clough, described Wanderers’ fall from grace as “startling and a warning to an awful lot of clubs”.

Wanderers have spiralled down the divisions and although Evatt is conscious that there will be plenty of supporters who readily recall memories of Premier League football and European nights and now struggle with the reality of being in the bottom half of League Two, it is the reason why he feels expectations should be measured with a dose of realism as he and the club bid to forge a way back from the basement division.

“As I’ve said many times, we have to forget about the past and really look to the future,” said the Bolton boss.

“I understand the expectation, I understand that many of our fans have witnessed great history at this at this football club, but we are where we are right now.

“We have to have some perspective and I know that’s not easy to hear, I understand that, but I’ll always tell the truth. So please just bear with us, we will get it sorted but there is a lot of work going on behind the scenes to make sure this club is pointing in the right direction.

“Sometimes it’s not easy to immediately just turn the tap off and start it in a new direction. This club has had a fall from grace and dramatically, so stopping it and then turning it around and pointing it in the other direction sometimes isn’t as easy as what people think.

“There’s a lot of work going on behind the scenes. Stuff that I don’t really need to speak about but myself and the board of directors and Sharon (chairman Sharon Brittan), we have a strong relationship and we understand the process which we’re going down to turn this club around.

“I’ll be here all day if I was telling you details, so you just have to trust me and trust the board with what we’re trying to do.

“I understand there’s going to be an irritation with where we’re at and some of the results, but please bear with us. We are fighting and we’re trying as hard as we can and we will turn it around.”

Asked whether the expectation of Bolton Wanderers was bigger than the actual potential, Evatt added: “No, I think the potential is definitely there but it is only potential and we have to turn it into reality.

“At the moment, we’re not doing that but we’re having to build from the bottom and steady the ship before we start to go on a crusade and that’s what’s happening at the moment.”

Wanderers have not taken League Two by storm as hoped but Evatt insists they will not deviate from their plans regardless of whether they are successful in bouncing straight back to League One or not.

“I think what we’re trying to do should really stay the same, because it’s for the long-term success of this football club,” he said.

“Yes, we want promotion, of course we do, but we also need to build a structure in place which will give us the ability to progress and progress quickly.

“At the moment, we haven’t got that, that’s the truth, so we have to look to that and look to get the right structure in place and the right foundations for it to enable us to kick on and that’s all the hard work that’s happening at the moment.

“That’s all I can really say on the matter, but like I say, the club is in good hands, I can assure every supporter that Sharon and the rest of the board are fantastic people, they are dedicated to this football club and understand it.

“Rome wasn’t built in a day and we have to go through a process of making sure long-term this club has stability and give us that platform to really kick on.”