IAN Evatt says he was never tempted to push himself for the Blackpool job when it became available last month.

Some reports claimed the Wanderers boss had been open to talking with his former club, who had seen their manager Neil Critchley make an abrupt move to join Steven Gerrard’s coaching staff at Aston Villa.

But Evatt insists he had no intention of discussing a return to Bloomfield Road, even though the possibility was put to him.

Asked if his loyalty to his current employers was tested in the summer, he told The Bolton News: “There was a lot of talk, there were conversations. But have I been tested? Absolutely not.

“Was I ever going to be tested? Absolutely not.

“I love my job, I love the players that I work with, but it is easy for me to sit here and say that but it is the honest truth.

“This club gave me an opportunity and it has shown me loyalty at times when it has been difficult. I think we have seen benefits of that.

“There was never a question or thought in my mind that I would leave this football club, not one, and that is how it is going to stay.

“I have a goal and an ambition and that can all be achieved here, together. That was one of the reasons I came here in the first place.

“I don’t want to be a manager who moves here, there and everywhere else. I want to be a manager who creates a legacy and achieves something. That is shared with Sharon and the rest of the ownership group.”

Michael Appleton eventually took over the Championship club after Liam Rosenior pulled out of the interview process at a late stage.

Despite assertions from Evatt’s camp that he was happy in his current job, his name continued to be linked in the media right up until Appleton’s appointment.

“I was on holiday at the time when it was all kicking off and I was laughing about it all because it was nothing, it was a nothing story, really,” he added.

“People asked why I didn’t make a statement. I don’t need to. My statement is every press conference and every day I work here. I am fully invested and fully bought in, and that is not going to change.”