EX-WANDERERS midfielder Jason McAteer will be willing the Whites on this weekend at Crawley.

The Burnden Park favourite is hoping his former club can find the result they need on Saturday to make an immediate return to League One.

Speaking to FreeSuperTips, McAteer believes Ian Evatt deserves due credit for turning around a worrying slide, which brought Wanderers into the fourth tier for only the second time in their history.

“It’s brilliant to see, we’ve seen the decline of the club from where they were in the Premier League at one point,” he said.

“The new breed of Bolton fans might not remember too far back, they think Sam Allardyce was the messiah and look at what he did for Bolton which I think is wrong because of the groundwork put in before his time.

“To see the demise was disappointing to see, but they’ve done exceptionally well this season because they’re still a big club.”

McAteer was part of Bruce Rioch’s White Hot team which beat a path from the third tier to the Premier League in a few years alongside the likes of John McGinlay, Alan Stubbs, David Lee and Keith Branagan.

The former Ireland international was signed for Bolton from non-league Marine by Phil Neal, the last man to lead Bolton out of the Fourth Division, before a few close misses attempting to get promotion from the league above.

Assessing the job done by current incumbent, Ian Evatt, McAteer reckons to get promotion at the first attempt after such a difficult chapter in the club’s history would be a significant achievement.

“Everything is in place for that club, the fans, the ground, the community and if you’ve got that then it’s a good start and that’s what Bolton have,” said the former midfielder.

“They’ve found a great manager and if he gets them up at the first time of asking then he’s done a great job, so good luck to them at the weekend.”