TRAINING pitches at Wanderers will need ‘significant change’ in the longer term if the club is to get the very best out of their squad, says Ian Evatt.

The Bolton boss reckons improvements to drainage at Lostock made over the summer have had a positive effect but wet weather last month did present difficulties.

It was revealed last week that Randell Williams had been suffering with tendinopathy, which flared up after training on heavy playing surfaces, and recent frosty conditions have also presented challenges to the coaching and medical staff.

Asked what more needs to be done, Evatt says the club has a long-term view that more investment will be needed to get facilities to the required level.

“There was a lot of money spent on the pitches and they need significant change – but as a club we’re not there yet,” he told The Bolton News.

“What we have done is make it the best we possibly can for right now and it has made a difference. It is still not where I would like it to be but we’re working hard to get it there and it is a gradual thing.

“We will get there but it is an awful lot of money. A bit like the team, it is a process, we are not going to spent six, seven, eight million pounds on a new training ground just because. We need to do it gradually and the board has been great in backing that.

“With the amount of rain we have had over the last month or so it can make it very difficult but we are doing everything we can to make it right and good for us.”

Evatt brought the players back in on Thursday morning to review their performance against Oxford and says their attitude on the training ground has been a major factor in the run of form that has helped them push to the top of League One.

With two cup games to tackle before a key game at Portsmouth on December 11, he is now looking to maintain those levels to ensure they go to Fratton Park in the same positive vein.

“The club I inherited is a completely different one to the one that sits here today and it has been a monumental effort by the entire place, on the pitch and off it, to get to where we are now,” he said.

“We feel like we have only just begun. The team is improving and so is the connection with the fanbase, it is a good place to be at the moment, but as you know in football, things can change pretty quickly so we are not going to take anything for granted. We will keep striving for more and working to progress.

“I am delighted with where the players are right now but we went through the video from the Oxford game this morning and there are still things we can do better. I am excited to see where this team can get to.

“The way you train will define the way you play on a Saturday. We want the players to be full-tilt on the pitch with their work, in the meeting room, in the gym, because when you have those good habits it translates comfortably to a Saturday and a matchday. There is no magic tap to turn on and off.”