GETTING a run in the FA Cup has become an itch Ian Evatt is desperate to scratch at Bolton Wanderers.

Felled at the first hurdle in each of his three previous attempts, the Bolton boss admits the club’s rich history in the competition has heaped even more pressure on him to produce something against non-league Solihull Moors on Saturday.

Four-time winners, and the club who produced a succession of giant-killing efforts in the nineties under Bruce Rioch, Wanderers have achieved little since reaching the fourth round under Phil Parkinson in 2018.

Evatt believes his squad – though hit by a few bouts of illness this week – is capable of juggling the demands of league and cup for the first time and has told his players as much in the build-up to the game.

“This is a box I want to tick, there is no doubt about it,” he told The Bolton News. “We have a strong squad which we feel are ready to have cup runs alongside the league campaign and this is a great opportunity to start one.

“The FA Cup carries huge prize money, more so than the EFL Trophy or the Carabao Cup, so obviously it is beneficial in that sense.

“Every other club wants what we do, Solihull certainly will, and along with probably Portsmouth I’d imagine we were seen as the plum tie in this first round draw.

“This was the hardest game they could have got, in my opinion, and I am sure they will come here and attack it like it was their cup final.

“We have to match that energy and effort, and if we do, I’m confident we progress. If we don’t, then from what I have seen of Solihull they can cause problems.

“It is mostly about energy and attitude but on a personal level it would mean a lot to me to get a win in this competition.”

It is hard to ignore Bolton’s FA Cup pedigree, and the pain of the televised exit to Stockport County a couple of years ago is still a bugbear for all those who were involved. But Evatt reckons Wanderers’ traditions in league and cup should be used as motivation to succeed this season on all fronts.

“The history of this football club, full stop, ensures that we know what is expected of us,” he said.

“When you are here, you are expected to win football matches. In fact, if anyone turned up here, our fans would expect us to beat them. That is the type of club this is and I wouldn’t change it for the world.

“I said to the players this morning, cup upsets usually happen when things off the pitch are not great.

“When the culture is right, the spirit is right, the togetherness is right, cup upsets rarely happen because they know the standard, what is expected, and they hold each other accountable.

“I see that with the players this week. They have held each other accountable and they are raring to go.”