Evatt | We Just Want To Get Better

Ian Evatt Portugal

Ian Evatt is delighted with Wanderers’ first week back at work as he starts to forge the blueprint for a new campaign, writes Pete Oliver.

The Whites fly back from their Portugal training camp today (Friday) after a tough week’s work in the sun.

The squad has spent invaluable time building up their fitness and starting ball work ahead of the League One season which kicks off on 10th August.

And with Wanderers now moving towards the pre-season game phase, Evatt is pleased with the early groundwork being put in place to try and mould a model to successfully move on from last season’s near miss.

“It’s been great. We’re making good progress,” said the Wanderers’ boss.

Training running Portugal

“The players have come back in really good shape and mentally in good shape as well. As I've said before, we’ve all got a bit of a point to prove now and we're just going to keep our heads down and work very hard.

“Clearly, we need to improve because we didn't finish the job last season. But we finished third, not far off the automatics, and we got beat in the play-off final.

“There are some parts of it that are still good and clearly working and we have recruited to a model and a philosophy that we can't just rip up, because we have had a lot of success with that and broken some club records that have stood for a long time.

“But there is also obviously need for improvement. It's not completely changing what our ideology is, and our identity is, but tweaking it to give us a different plan on any given day. And when things aren't working for us, or in winter football when things are tough, can we find a different solution to winning which still suits the players we've recruited?

“That's really the plan and they were the conversations we had over the summer and I think we've come up with the right ideas. Time will tell.”

The Whites’ re-shuffle has seen the welcome arrival of Stephen Crainey as joint assistant manager, with the Scot quickly and seamlessly looking part of the coaching group in Portugal.

"I know come the start of the season the fans will be there for us. We have to make sure we are ready."
Ian Evatt

Summer signings Chris Forino and Klaidi Lolos hit the ground running, with goalkeeper Luke Southwood integrating himself into the squad with his presence in Portugal and working alongside the other injured players under the watchful eye of head physio Matt Barrass.

Other new recruits are on the way to further strengthen a squad which plays its first game of the pre-season schedule in a behind-closed-doors meeting with West Bromwich Albion next Saturday with the aim of peaking on day one of the League One season at Leyton Orient.

“We are working hard to add to the squad,” Evatt told Wanderers TV. “There are developments and progression all the time and I think in the next week or so we'll see some more incomings.

“The lads that have joined us, in terms of Chris and Klaidi who have been able to join in all the sessions, have been fantastic and really impressed me.

“It's exciting times and exciting to add to this squad. There are still some very good players here and it's all systems go and looking to move forwards again.

“Everyone is just focused on getting better. After the summer – and it's been a tough summer – everyone has come back with a mindset and determination to earn the trust back of our fans.

“We lost a bit of that at Wembley but now it's time to regain that and I know come the start of the season the fans will be there for us. We have to make sure we are ready. 

“What's important for us is if the league improves, we improve, and that's the message. The league might be better, but I do think we're going to be better as well. We're excited, we're looking forward to it and we know what needs to be done.

"If we can progress again and get better then you don’t need me to tell you where that ends for us, so that’s our sole focus at the moment.”

Watch the full, in-depth interview from the manager in Portugal on Wanderers TV HERE

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