IAN Evatt reckons it would be “crazy” to rip-up the blueprint he has established at Wanderers over the last four years, but he admits there is scope for change.

The Bolton boss has had plenty of time to reflect on last season, where a third-placed finish and defeat in the play-off final was not enough to satisfy his own hunger to push the club forward.

Less than a quarter of teams beaten at Wembley in more than 40 years of play-off football have recovered to get promotion the following season, and Evatt accepts that there is a psychological barrier his players must overcome if they are to join the minority.

Furthermore, Evatt has faced some blow-back from supporters over the possession-based brand of football he has preferred to play. A poll of more than 2,000 fans conducted by The Bolton News this summer revealed a distinct split in opinion, with roughly half the vote in favour of his style of football, and half either against or neutral.

Having been outmanoeuvred by Oxford United at Wembley the onus is now on Bolton to bounce back and make believers of those who doubt they can climb out of League One at the fourth attempt.

Speaking to The Bolton News, Evatt said: “It is another challenge but being the manager of this football club always has challenges and it is up to me as the leader to pick it up. I have to pick the players up and go again.

“I am a really strong character, I have a huge amount of belief in myself, I have had a difficult summer, really tough, but the conversations I have had with Sharon and the board have really helped to refocus me and reposition myself to improve again. That is my focus – I will improve, I will come up with different options, different plans, not necessarily coming away from what and who we are because that would be crazy and we have had relative success, but we know we need to improve and that is where all my mind and energy has been focussed.

“In terms of our set-up and make-up, we have had a huge amount of success here and we can’t throw the baby out with the bathwater.

“There clearly has to be some tweaks. We have always managed to do that, find improvement, and to do that this year only ends up one way, we know that. But that is my focus. We need to find a way of us being better.

“Everyone keeps talking about Plan B this, Plan B that. It is not necessarily about that. We have a group of players who are recruited to a style and identity. It does need some adaptation, and I understand that. So, it is almost like finding a Plan A 2.0.

“What can we do to keep our identity but also give us a second option to win games and that has really been my focus over the summer and pre-season is vital for that time because it is the only chance we really get a block of coaching time where we can work on different plans and set-ups when we encounter trouble, like we did at Wembley.”

Pre-season provides all the normal opportunity to establish fitness and tactical plans but for Wanderers six weeks on the training ground will also help them get last month’s disappointment at Wembley out of their system.

“I am still not over it now, to be honest,” Evatt said. “I have managed to reset. In my mind, we have managed to come up with some solutions which we think will make us better. We do that every year.

“But it was one of those games that hurt us for many reasons and I can only apologise to our fans, who are amazing. We let them down that day and it is up to us to put it right again.

“What happened at Wembley, we can discuss it, we can apologise, but the only benefit now is to focus on what is in front of us. It is important we do that now.”