IAN Evatt hopes his next 150 games in charge of Wanderers can be even more successful than the first.

The Bolton boss passed the milestone in Saturday’s 2-1 win against Port Vale, the 74th of his time at the club.

That puts him ahead of John Bentley and Bruce Rioch, who both managed 72 wins from the same number of games, at the top of the club’s all-time list.

Evatt has actually owned an unwanted record when he first arrived at Bolton, having become the first manager in the club’s history to lose their first five games in all competitions.

Thankfully, the numbers now make much better reading.

“I have said a lot that I prefer doing this to playing,” Evatt said. “I have changed so much as a person and the last five years, I have grown up and matured.

“I have been through a lot of adversity in my life and that has kind of created the kind of manager I am today.

“I am extremely proud to be the manager of Bolton Wanderers, and to have the record I do as well, considering I gave everyone else a good head start.

“Who would have thought after five games that I’d have the best record of any Bolton Wanderers manager who has reached 150 games? Not many… Maybe myself, I’m a confident guy. But long may it continue.”

The next opposition for Evatt is Portsmouth, whose form has stabilised since the arrival of manager John Mousinho in January.

Pompey beat Cheltenham 4-0 on Saturday and boast an impressive midweek record, losing just once of their last 18 games.

“It will be a different game, probably a little more technical,” says Evatt, whose side will be looking to chalk up a hat-trick of wins against the Fratton Park men this season. “Cheltenham were maybe suffering from semi-final syndrome as we were, especially in the first half because they were blown away.

“They play 4-2-3-1 and we have had some success against back fours in recent times. They will play their way, we’ll play ours, and we’ll see who comes out on top on the night.”

Wanderers go into the game on the back of a less-than-vintage display against Port Vale, albeit one that earned them a 2-1 win.

Evatt reviewed the performance at the weekend and feels it may have been under-appreciated at the time.

“Now I have had time to let it sink in, when you look at the results from the other two semi-finalists, two of them – Plymouth and Cheltenham – got absolutely walloped. The other one, Accrington, failed to win.

“So for us to get three points against Port Vale is actually a pretty good achievement.

“They were excellent, and bear in mind they had beaten Plymouth and beaten Derby away, and I could see why, credit to them on the day they played well.

“But I’ve said to the players, while we are process driven, want to be the best we can be, but if we can’t then you have to find a way to win.

“I try and call it how is – I’m not one for making excuses or trying to self-preserve, which does go on in management. I try and say what I see.

“Saturday I thought Port Vale were excellent. We were well below par and there were some reasons behind that but credit to them the way they played. They will be frustrated that they played well and didn’t come away with anything but, as I said, they are the only team to beat Plymouth away and they have beaten Derby as well, we know how hard that is, and for us to win that game off the back of Wednesday is a brilliant achievement.”