Evatt: I Wanted It So Badly

Proud boss Ian Evatt hailed an amazing achievement for Wanderers after steering the club to Wembley on a triumphant night for the club.

A 2-0 win at Accrington Stanley secured the Whites a place in the Papa Johns Trophy final against League One rivals Plymouth Argyle on Sunday, 2 April.

Late goals from Elias Kachunga and Aaron Morley eased the manager’s nerves and means he will lead the Whites out at Wembley to continue Wanderers’ spectacular rise from the ashes.

“This is probably the most nervous I’ve ever been in my career,” admitted Evatt who will lead Wanderers out in the club’s first Wembley appearance for 12 years.

“When you’re a player you’re out there you can affect things. When you’re a manager it’s completely different and I wanted it so badly for so many people, for Sharon, the board, who have saved this football club.

“For the players – I thought they deserve a big day out at Wembley. They’re a great group. They’re so together. The injured ones were here, the lads who have joined us on loan.

“And, most importantly, the fans. They’ve been through so much. We almost lost this club and now to have a Wembley cup final is something to be incredibly proud of.”

Four years on from almost going out of business, Wanderers can look forward to a first domestic final since 2004 thanks to victory over an Accrington side reduced to 10 men from the 22nd minute thanks to the dismissal of Sean McConville.

The Whites dominated thereafter and Evatt was confident they would find a way through to make it a memorable night for the 2,600 travelling fans who filled two sides of the Wham Stadium.

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“I did think the goals would come. The first goal was huge and massive mention to Kacha,” added Evatt, who handed Kachunga a first start since he received a retrospective red card against Forest Green a month ago following a frustrating run in front of goal.

“I said to him I’m so proud of him because he’s been through so much. Sometimes how you come through adversity really defines who you are as a person and he’s a fantastic person and he really deserves that.

“I’m so proud of so many people. We really deserve this as a football club. I’m delighted we’ve managed to do it. It’s not probably sunk in yet but I’ll have a beer or two, have a smile and then get ready for Port Vale on Saturday.

“It’s an important game and we will dust ourselves off and get prepared for that. But tonight is our night as Bolton Wanderers; an amazing achievement and I’m looking forward to a big trip to Wembley.”

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