“Pressure Will Be On” – Former Bolton Wanderers Star Makes Evatt & Promotion Admission

Speaking exclusively to The Real EFL via 888 Sport former Bolton Wanderers, Birmingham City and Wigan Athletic striker Emile Heskey believes that pressure will be on the Trotters and head coach Ian Evatt to earn promotion this season.

Bolton were one of the favourites to climb out of League One in the previous campaign, having suffered a defeat in the play-off semi-finals against Barnsley the season prior. Evatt’s men flirted with the automatic promotion spots but were eventually forced to settle for a position in the top six, finishing in third, five points behind second-place Derby County.

Coincidentally, the Greater Manchester-based club met Barnsley once more in the play-off semi-finals but managed to come out on top against the Tykes this time around following a narrow 5-4 victory on aggregate across two legs.

All that stopped Bolton Wanderers from returning to the Championship for the first time in half a decade was Oxford United. Evatt’s men were certainly the favourites to clinch victory in the final at Wembley but, once more, fate was not on their side. The underdogs ran rampant as a double from Portsmouth‘s newest acquisition Josh Murphy lifted the U’s into the second tier after a 25-year absence from the competition. Evatt’s men had failed at the final hurdle.

The Real EFL asked ex-England international Heskey whether he believes his former side – whom he made 49 appearances for from 2014 to 2016 – can finish the job ahead of the 2024/25 campaign and whether Evatt is still the right man to take the club forward.

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“Absolutely. This needs to be the year that Bolton go up!

“Looking at Ian Evatt, he has done a great job at Bolton. He has got them playing attractive football and you look at the position he inherited the club at, he has turned the Club around and is now in a position to really press on and get promoted this year.

“Yes, the pressure will be on, but they play good football which can win them games. It’s a huge club, the local area thrives on the club doing well and Evatt can be the man to get Bolton back to the Championship.”

Heskey will undoubtedly be keeping a close eye on League One next season as three of his old clubs will be competing with one another for promotion, but all eyes will be on Bolton Wanderers. Having failed to return to the Championship two years in a row, pressure from above and the fanbase may be mounting on their head coach who, in the words of Heskey, has done a “great job” so far and is the right man to take the club back to the second division.

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