HAVING sampled the lows, the highs tasted that bit sweeter for Bolton Wanderers captain Antoni Sarcevic as he led his team to promotion at Crawley.

The midfielder crashed in his eighth goal of the season after just nine minutes at the People’s Pension Stadium to set the Whites on their way to a famous win and an immediate return to the third tier.

Sarcevic had been one of the marquee signings of last summer but disjointed recruitment results in some poor early-season form, with Bolton dropping at one stage to the lowest position in their history, 22nd.

But the former Plymouth Argyle man, who has won promotion in each of his last FOUR seasons at this level, believes the turnaround in form deserves to be recognised as a major achievement.

“It’s unbelievable. I’m just made up that we’ve got it over the line and I just want everyone associated with this club to celebrate and just enjoy this moment,” he said.

“The start was tough, there were big expectations. They was big expectations on myself and Doyler with our previous season. The lads that came in January made a massive difference and it helped everything on and off the pitch. Collectively as a group, I can’t tell you the togetherness that we’ve got in that changing room and that’s going to stand us in good stead in the future.

“After January there was massive belief, I’ve said it in every interview. The gaffer installed that into us. Maybe he didn't believe it himself but he did it for us and it worked. We did believe and believed that this league was definitely there for the taking. I’m just glad we got it over the line and we can all enjoy it.”

The pressure was on Wanderers after they conspired to blow a 1-0 lead to lose against Exeter City last weekend.

The manner of the defeat left many questioning whether Evatt’s men could raise their game again. Sarcevic was delighted to provide an answer.

“We were gutted with that result,” he said. “It was devastating but we knew what we had to do and this shows the character of this group. We came here today and we took it out on Crawley.

“None of us wanted to feel that feeling again. I can’t tell you the feeling in that dressing room. I’ve never felt it in all the years I’ve been a footballer. It was devastating. But we had to dust ourselves off because it was in our hands. We went into this game not bothered about any other result, I promise you, it was about us and we took it out on Crawley and everyone can see the performance today was unbelievable.”

Sarcevic raised eyebrows last summer when he opted to leave promoted Plymouth Argyle and return to his native North West with Bolton, who had at that stage suffered consecutive relegations.

He was made Evatt’s captain – but the early-season problems left him facing criticism for his own form by sections of the support, even leading to him removing his Twitter account for a short time.

But now the skipper says taking Bolton to promotion after such highs and lows surpasses even the promotions he won with Argyle.

“When I got it I was proud,” he said of the captain’s armband at the UniBol. “It was a proud moment and the hiccups at the start and online and everything that comes with it. Everyone has their opinion but I just feel like as a player I leave everything out there. I don’t leave any stone unturned and I make sure that when I do put on the shirt, I put everything into it and I just hope that the fans and the minority that weren’t my biggest fan can see that and enjoy this moment with me.

“I won’t take anything away from Plymouth, it’s a club close to my heart, but I signed at this club for one reason and what I’m feeling right now is a massive part of it and I’m just hoping that a lot of people in Bolton tonight and for the coming days are enjoying it as much as we are.”

Sarcevic is now looking forward to taking on the likes of Sheffield Wednesday, Ipswich Town, Charlton and Wigan Athletic in League One next season.

“We’re a big club in there now,” he said. “We shouldn’t be anywhere near this and we’re just a group now that want to make sure that this club gets back to where it belongs.”