IAN Evatt has praised striker Eoin Doyle for handling the pressure of being Wanderers’ big-name arrival this season.

After leading the League Two scoring charts with Swindon Town last term, Doyle turned heads by leaving a promoted team to join relegated Bolton.

The Irishman has led the line admirably this season, becoming the first player since Michael Ricketts in 2002 to hit 15 goals in a single campaign when he scored from the spot against Walsall on Saturday.

Doyle has also inherited the captain’s armband since Antoni Sarcevic’s injury and – in Evatt’s view – has led by example since the moment he walked through the doors at the University of Bolton Stadium.

“Sometimes that can get lost and I think it’s important, like I’ve said many times, we’ve all had suffering this season and we’ve all had criticism at times and Eoin came with a big reputation,” he said.

“Everyone thinks we offered him the world and more to get him here and with that comes responsibility. I think the way he’s carried himself, the way he leads the team whether he’s captain or not day to day is exceptional.”

Doyle claimed the ball on Saturday against Walsall to slam home his sixth goal in eight home games for Bolton.

Evatt had no doubt in his mind that Doyle would give Bolton the lead with 10 minutes of the game remaining – but regrets the fact there were no supporters inside the stadium to join in the celebrations.

“I’d back Eoin to score that 99 times out of 100, probably even more than that,” he said. “And saying that, I’ve probably jinxed it now!

“The players love him, we love him and it’s a shame that the fans aren’t here to love him as well.

“He deserves immense credit for getting 15 goals in a difficult season for us.”