IAN Evatt collected his third Manager of the Month award yesterday – but admits he would swap them all for a guaranteed spot in the top three.

Wanderers resume their promotion chase at home to Harrogate this weekend after Evatt added the March manager’s prize to his previous hauls in November and February.

The Whites will climb back into the automatic spots if they can better Tranmere Rovers’ result at Scunthorpe United, which is exactly where Evatt hopes his side will be when they walk off the pitch at Crawley in the last of seven remaining games this season.

It has been a campaign of highs and lows for Wanderers thus far – and Evatt was quick to acknowledge the help he has had to collect individual honours.

“It’s not bad for someone who is clueless and doesn’t know what he is doing,” he laughed.

“Three in seven or eight months is great, personally, but it is a team game and I wouldn’t be given those awards unless the players were producing the goods on a Saturday.

“Also, I have a backroom staff who work tirelessly hard – Peter (Atherton) my assistant, we do everything together on the grass, Lewis (Duckmanton) the analyst, Matt (Pelham) the fitness coach, Gillo (Matt Gilks) flitting between the two roles, it really is a team effort.

“Fortunately for me, I am the front face of it all. But on these awards it is a lot of work behind the scenes that goes into getting them.

“I would give all three awards back for that one promotion space at the end of this season – that’s the goal at the end of it all.

Wanderers may have lost a 14-game unbeaten run on Easter Monday at Newport but Evatt is proud of the way his squad has clawed their way into promotion contention after a disappointing first half of the season.

The Bolton boss had to contend with his fair share of criticism for the under-achievement in his early months but insists he has treasured every moment in the job.

“I will tell you how enjoyable it has been at 5pm on May 8,” he said.

“I have never once wavered in my belief in myself or what I can do, not once. And it is easily said now that I have won three manager of the months, we have had an unbelievable run of wins, had a lot of praise for the way we have done it, being aesthetically pleasing on the eye, but none of it means anything unless we get promoted. That is my aim, my driving ambition.

“For long periods people thought that was not possible.

“I have loved this job from minute one and at times it has been challenging, especially at the start of the year. It has been tough when we are on bad runs and we have had defeats but that is the life of a manager and you have to be able to cope with it.

“But what I would like people to say about me is that even in the tough times he maintained his belief, stays true to himself, and sticks by his philosophy.

“You have to do that to get t he players to buy into what you are doing.

“The exciting thing for me is that this is just the beginning. I know what is going to happen at this football club, I can see the vision crystal clear, and I have sheer joy every time I step foot in this stadium.

“I am so happy to be here. I love the club already, even without the fans, because there is so much tradition, so much history, there is a brilliant group of owners, staff who love working here, and I want it to be successful. I know it will be.

“For me, it’s delight knowing that we want to achieve and what we will achieve going forwards.”