Evatt: Wembley Way Will Make Us Proud

Ian Evatt says Sunday will be a proud day for the town of Bolton and its football club as he looks to guide Wanderers to Wembley glory.

Evatt will lead the Whites out as they look to lift the Papa Johns Trophy and win a first cup for the club since 1989.

Wanderers will be backed by over 34,000 fans when they take on Plymouth Argyle at Wembley Stadium.

And Evatt believes the occasion will be the perfect way to mark Wanderers’ remarkable rise from the brink of extinction less than four years ago.

“Everybody is very excited and rightly so,” said the Wanderers’ boss.

“I think it’s a landmark occasion. It’s something we wanted to do for the town and the fanbase because of what it’s been through.

“This is a brilliant marker for how far this football club has recovered in the not-too-distant past. We’ve had some challenging times but this is an occasion very much to look forward to.

“We’re absolutely delighted that we’ve sold the tickets we have and that’s a great marker as to the connection between football club and town again. It’s palpable and brilliant.

“To see 34,000 Bolton fans travelling down to Wembley Stadium a few years after nearly losing the club is something to be very proud of.”

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Steered to stability off the pitch by the owners’ group that took control in August 2019, and from the lower of reaches of League Two to Wembley and a place in League One’s top six by Evatt, the current crop of Whites have the chance to write some modern-day club history.

League One leaders Plymouth stand in Wanderers’ way but Evatt – twice a Wembley winner as a player with Blackpool and Whites’ manager since July, 2020 – feels his squad is in good shape as they also chase a possible Trophy and promotion double.

“I’ve really felt the team re-energise in the last couple of weeks,” added Evatt, whose side last played a competitive fixture a fortnight ago in a 1-1 draw at Sheffield Wednesday before impressing in a behind-closed-doors win over Championship opposition a week ago.

“I’ve really felt there has been a significant uplift in energy and quality and I’ve felt the players come back to themselves a little bit, which is really exciting for the run-in.

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“It’s really good, really exciting and we’re looking forward to Sunday very much.

“It’s a great marker for us all to understand how hard we’ve worked to achieve this and to go and enjoy it and hopefully win a football match.

“We mustn’t forget that for all the build-up and the huge spectacle it is it’s a football game and we must go there to win.

“If at the start of the season you’d given us an opportunity to be playing a cup final at Wembley and be in the top six with eight games to go, we’d have snatched it with both hands.

“We have that opportunity now but all it is at this moment is an opportunity. We have to go out there and take it.”

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