IAN Evatt reckons Dion Charles’s “hunger” will make him a success at Wanderers.

The Northern Ireland international has had an eventful start to his Bolton career since signing from Accrington Stanley – and was forced to make a public apology for historical social media posts just hours before his debut at Hartlepool.

His performances on the pitch, however, have been encouraging, and while he is still waiting to score his first goal there have been signs that he can make a positive contribution to the Whites’ attack in League One.

Evatt feels the striker can be a success at Wanderers and move on from the difficulties he faced in his first week at the club.

“We gave a statement about what had happened and Dion was mortified,” he said. “That certainly isn’t the guy that we know.

“He is a mature lad and we will support him and educate him as best we can, but Dion is hungry.

“Players that have had the journey he has, starting professionally then going out of the game and working his way back up through non-league, they appreciate everything they have got when they come to a club like Bolton.

“The wonderful training facilities, a wonderful stadium, what we have given him off the pitch, he is really appreciative of that, he doesn't take advantage of anything and that can only help with the rest of the group, really, seeing that drive and desire and hunger.”

Charles has not played 90 minutes since mid-September, due in the main to his contractual dispute with previous club Accrington. As a result, Evatt is having to build his new signing’s match fitness up gradually.

“You can see that he is getting better and better with each game,” said the Bolton boss after Saturday’s 2-0 win against Ipswich. “Ideally, I don’t want to have to take him off, but we have to remember he hasn’t played a great deal of football, and the last thing we need at the moment is breaking him down.

“He is getting fitter and stronger gradually, but it helps when we can bring people like Dapo (Afolayan) off the bench and make a difference to us and that bit of energy got us that second goal and then got us over the line.”

Charles started in a front two alongside Amadou Bakayoko against Ipswich as Evatt switched his formation to suit some of his new January signings.

“It is going to take time to get him fully up to speed to where we think he can get to, but I think already you can see the difference that he makes to us with that bit of pace and speed in behind, playing off the shoulder,” he said.

“I felt like we needed to change systems because I felt like he could work better with a partner and Bakayoko today gave him that partner and together they’re going to build a relationship and only improve, as will the rest of the forwards.

“They’re still getting to know each other’s game. This team today is a very young team. There’s Aaron (Morley) who has just come in, Dion, James (Trafford), Marlon (Fossey), and we are still just getting to know each other’s strengths and weaknesses, really.

“Once that clicks and happens with the other couple that we are trying to bring into the building then we are going to be a good team again.

“We haven’t become a bad team, really, we have just suffered in major moments. We haven’t really performed poorly, apart from the Wigan game at home and the Fleetwood game away. Other than that, we have been in every game.”

Evatt also believes Charles can become a regular starter for Northern Ireland if he can continue his bright start at Wanderers.

“Dion wants to be an international footballer, and there are lots of players in our group that have aspirations,” he said. “Marlon wants to get into the American squad.

“They have to go about their business day in day out to do that and that means performing well on a Saturday.”