IAN Evatt hopes the threat of an FA Cup upset will bring the best out of Wanderers today.

National League Stockport County come to the University of Bolton Stadium boosted by the arrival of a new manager in Dave Challinor and a 5,000-strong travelling contingent.

The game is given added spice by the potential return of Antoni Sarcevic in the Hatters’ midfield, just a fortnight after he quit Bolton, where he had been captain for the previous 18 months.

Evatt knows his team is expected to go through, nevertheless, and wants his players to use the pressure to build on their midweek Papa John’s Trophy win at Rochdale.

“Every cup game is a banana skin,” he said. “I think they are bringing 5,000 fans so the atmosphere is certainly going to be good and I’m looking forward to that because, if anything, that will switch our players on.

“We know we have got to build on what we did well on Tuesday. I thought we saw lots of positive signs, lots of signs the players were starting to come back into form.

“They were listening to the messaging we had been giving to them and they need to take that on board for Sunday and make sure we play to the best of our abilities, and if we do, that should be enough to get us through.”

Challinor left League Two Hartlepool United to join Stockport, who are currently ninth in the table and still harbouring hopes of promotion to the EFL after a decade-long absence.

The former Tranmere Rovers and Bury defender – famously known for having one of the longest throws in football – has made a good start in non-league management and took his former club up last season.

Evatt also led Barrow to promotion from the same division in 2019/20 and is impressed by Challinor’s managerial CV.

“I think he’s been doing it longer than me but he has had success,” said the Bolton boss. “Obviously he did a good job at Fylde and then Fylde were wrong in getting rid of him. He went to Hartlepool and did a fantastic job, got them up, and now has been given a great opportunity at Stockport, with all their firepower in the National League, but we know that’s a really challenging league and a tough one, but he’s done very well for someone that’s relatively inexperienced.”

Evatt has met Challinor before in the dugout in the colours of Barrow and Fylde, with both encounters ending in a draw.

“I think they were difficult games,” Evatt said. “In terms of locality and location, it was quite a local derby and there was quite a bit of needle in the game for whatever reason. But they were tight. Dave has done very well in every managerial job he has had and this will be a big challenging one but I have no doubts that he will go there and be a success.

“I wish him all the best. I think he is a good fella, but for us it’s about focusing on what we do and then on Sunday making sure we apply ourselves correctly, build on our good performance on Tuesday and get ourselves in the next round.”