IAN Evatt has challenged someone to make themselves a hero in Saturday’s derby clash with Wigan Athletic.

Missing the suspended Dion Charles, the Bolton boss already knows he will have to change the side that beat Fleetwood on Tuesday night.

But with Jon Dadi Bodvarsson back from injury, and the likes of Carlos Mendes Gomes, Cameron Jerome and Dan Nlundulu jostling for a place up front, he is not short on alternatives for a game he knows will be emotionally charged.

Wanderers have not beaten the Latics at home in the league since November 2014 - and that was their only victory in six attempts, going back to the Premier League era.

And though he will be without last season’s top goal-scorer, Evatt is confident someone else can step up to take the limelight.

“There is no doubt that Dion will be a miss because he offers something slightly different to everyone else but we have serious options and football is always a game of opportunity, we have spoken about that a lot,” he told The Bolton News.

“When someone gets injured or suspended another player has that opportunity to take a shirt and keep it.

“There is no better game for whoever I select to step into than Wigan on Saturday because he can make himself a hero.

“It is one of those games where you form and create legends, and fingers crossed for any of our boys that we can create good memories. Individual performances go a long way to winning these games, so fingers crossed we get enough of them to get three points.”

Evatt forced himself to watch back Wigan’s last visit, a tortuous 90 minutes which ended in a 4-0 defeat in October 2021. But he feels the pain could have a motivational purpose.

“I tend not to like sleeping too much,” he smiled. “Obviously, it is history now and this club has progressed an awful lot since that time. The squad has evolved an incredible amount.

“But sometimes it is nice to get that feeling back, that hurt, and use it as fuel to drive you to get the right result on Saturday. Listen, that is still an irk in my system, and it something we need to scratch on Saturday.

“The players understand what it means to everybody. People speak in these moments about playing with your head and not your heart but I don’t think that’s true, you need to play with your emotion first and then hope you can stay calm and composed, playing with the skillset we know we have got. If we do that we are a difficult team to stop.”