The pressure to succeed is part of the job for any manager at a football club, and it has started to pile on the Bolton manager once again this season.
A poor start to the year and a winless 2021 has seen the Whites slip to 17th place in League Two. We now sit just seven points off the relegation zone with most teams below having games in hand. It’s not looking promising at the minute for Evatt and the comments made to the press last week hasn’t made life any easier for him. He implied that the club has a problem with being nostalgic and said that too many associated at the club are “living in the past”. Regardless of the context that may have been missing from the video (Reece did a fantastic job of clearing this up in his article), this didn’t help the Wanderers gaffer as fans were quick to jump on his back. More pressure was stacked on his shoulders after Saturday’s defeat vs Tranmere, which allowed Keith Hill to have the last laugh at Prenton Park as he has now done the double over his old club in the space of a month.
For those of you who didn’t decide to switch off your TV’s during the defeat to Tranmere, you couldn’t help but notice the sending off that happened after the game. Evatt couldn’t get onto the pitch quick enough after the final whistle and expectedly, he stormed over to the officials to say his peace. A red card followed for the gaffer, who said “the officials have really let us down today.” Albeit, the display from the referee was abysmal and some of those decisions during the game were shocking. However, perhaps it is time for Evatt to look at himself and his players and to stop making excuses for continuous performances that are just not good enough.
So, what’s next for Evatt?
His job now is a tough up-hill battle. He has to start getting us up the league table before even thinking about the play-offs, which is something that he has started mentioning in his interviews, even though we haven’t won a game since the 15th of December. For me, his job now consists of getting the basics of football done first and then he can begin worrying about playing his brand of free-flowing football. Fans are beginning to run out of patience and we can’t afford for this to last any longer. It has got to turn around, starting on Tuesday night away to Mansfield.
Do we believe that he has had enough time at the club and he has had the chance to bring in his own players? If results don’t improve and the chance to catch the top seven fully disappears, can we afford to offer him a second season to get it right?
Now it’s time to drop the excuses and start providing the performances that all fans were promised in the summer.