IAN Evatt reckons signing MJ Williams, Gethin Jones, Kieran Lee and George Thomason to new deals at the UniBol sends out the right message about the direction Wanderers want to travel.

The quartet have signed new contract extensions, even though Lee was the only one whose current one was due to expire in the summer.

Evatt says the players were “undervalued and underpaid” for what they have offered Wanderers – and feels by protecting playing assets it will increase stability.

“I just think it’s the type of club we want to be – the type me and Sharon want to run,” he said. “We want to be a club that rewards people for performance and success.

“We have to look after our assets. Kieran aside, he’s an exception to the rule, the other three are a good age and still improving.

“We did the same with Rico (Ricardo Santos) last year and we have to make sure we are protected. And if you look right across our squad we are protected with what I deem our most valuable assets.

“That is a rarity – I can tell you. There are not many clubs who do what we have done there.

“It isn’t just down to me, it is down to the board and Sharon Brittan.

“When you have players for another 18 months as we did with Geth, George and MJ there was no reason to do it because we’d save money by not doing it.

“But we have shown that if you outperform your pay grade we will reward it. And if everyone sees that messaging then, for me, you will get more out of them anyway.”

Wanderers shipped out Antoni Sarcevic a fortnight ago – with the former club skipper set to return with National League Stockport County in the FA Cup first round tomorrow.

The decision to release the midfielder proved a controversial one among supporters but Evatt insists it was made with the prospect of improving the squad further down the line.

“Everybody has different opinions on the game and I want us to keep evolving,” he said.

“We have to do it in a sustainable manner considering what we have been through in the past. And we are not going to spend endless amounts of money.

“Sarce was running out of contract and we were not in a position at this moment in time to offer him a new one. He got given an opportunity which was beneficial to both parties.

“The lads we have signed to new deals are not in their football prime yet – last season was Gethin’s first full one in the professional game, MJ hasn’t played much because of his past, and George has really come from nowhere to blossom. Kieran we did incredibly well to get last season and he has shown again what a good player he is this season.

“It is important we send the right message. We don’t want players who come here, perform consistently well, and for them to feel that we are taking advantage. We want to reward them.”