We’re a month away from the beginning of the 2020/21 season – Bolton Wanderers’ first campaign in the fourth tier of English football since the late eighties.
Since hiring former Barrow manager Ian Evatt at the start of July, Tobias Phoenix and FV have put the building blocks in place to ensure that Bolton are well prepared for their upcoming promotion push. Fourteen new signings have arrived, the first time in a long time that a squad is fully in place before the start of the season. With an experienced front two in Doyle & Delfouneso, together with an experienced spine including the likes of Sarcevic, Crawford, Taft, the young talent already at the club & some promising young talent from non-league, Wanderers have assembled the most exciting team for a good long while. Liam Gordon already seems like a fantastic find on a free.
For too long, there was a veil of apathy surrounding the club. Some fans fell out of love with football, as off field issues began to loom over whatever was happening on the pitch. This season really does feel like the start of something special for Bolton.
The only downside was the unfortunate injury Dennis Politic picked up during yesterday’s game against Loughborough Uni. Here’s hoping it isn’t too serious and for a speedy recovery.
Evatt’s philosophy is refreshing - from the intensity of his training sessions to making the players do laps of the pitch after playing a half of football. All too often in Wanderers’ recent history, we’ve been used to seeing the team defend a single goal lead with their lives, sitting back as soon as they were ahead.
Evatt’s comments after the Bamber Bridge win are a contrast to what we’re used to as Bolton fans.
“The downside to it was that this is a side that is going to create a lot of chances and we need to have a more ruthless edge. When we get ourselves three or four up it shouldn’t take your foot off the gas, you should want to really hurt teams.
“I want us to be in that mentality of being relentless, continuing in the same intensity and when we have got teams by the scruff of the neck that we strangle them.”
Wanderers have played three behind closed doors games so far, winning all three and scoring sixteen. Of course they’ve been expected to win, though to see them win with such attacking intent is a glorious thing to see. All four of our strikers have scored at least once & another five have also chipped in with the goals. At this moment in time, we’re only eleven goals away from our total from last season.
It’s important that the team develop a strong winning mentality as they get used to each other & how Evatt wants them to play. As we edge closer to the start of the season, pre-season games are obviously going to get tougher as the level of competition gets tougher.
If we can see a well worked performance against a team in a higher division, then we could be on for a really special season.
Viva la Evatt-lution.