Ian Evatt has spoken to the press ahead of Bolton Wanderers taking on Oldham Athletic.
The Wanderers head coach chatted on transfer deadline day prior to the League Two clash against the current bottom side in the division.
And Evatt discussed a range of topics in his pre-match press conference, including the loan signing of Peter Kioso from Luton Town, the transfer window, taking on the Latics, and the latest injury news.
Here’s what he had to say.
Reaction to the signing of Peter Kioso
“He’s a player that I’ve been aware of for the last couple of years. I’ve seen a fair bit of him at Hartlepool. He’s a player that can play numerous positions, he can play at the back, he can play full back, he can play wing back.
“He has a great athletic profile, he’s quick, powerful, he’s physical, he’s aggressive and he’s good with the ball as well.
“He’s a big signing for us. He’s a player that I wanted to sign very early on when I first took over, he wasn’t available then, however things change with Gethin getting injured and Luton signing players it’s made him become available and he’ll be a big player for us.
“I love him. I think he’s a fantastic player, a player that I’ve lauded and chased for a long time. Wanted him in pre-season but he wasn’t available. He has been involved in the Championship for Luton and was man of the match against Manchester United in the League Cup.
“He’s a young player with a hell of a lot of talent. He can play in a number of positions, he’ll add competition, strength in depth, we’ve seen the quality he’s got in training this week and he’ll be a big player for us.”
Do you expect any more signings?
“No. We’ve got 20 new ones, we’ve got injuries as well that are close to returning. Lloyd Isgrove is close to returning, Shaun Miller is close to returning, add competition for places.
“Tom White and Gethin aren’t as bad as we first feared, so once we get all these lads back we’ll be a strong squad.
“For now it’s consistency and building on the platform we’re giving ourselves.
“Yes defensively we’re looking better, which enables us and gives us a platform to get three points and win games.
“Earlier in the season we were shooting ourselves in the foot. We’ve stopped that habit now. We just need to make sure we start scoring at the other end.”
What’s the status with young players going out on loan?
“The issue there is the non league aren’t governed by a window so they can sign whenever they want. The window is irrelevant to them. Really it’s more league to league clubs.
“There are young players that would like to get out on loan but their development is the most important thing so we have to be really picky as to where we send them.”
Thoughts on facing Oldham and what type of game to expect from the Latics?
“We are setting ourselves up for another potential banana skin.
“Every game in this league is difficult. Everyone can beat anyone at any stage, I think the league table is showing that. There are some strange results, but you have to have some sort of consistency and the most consistent teams will succeed.
“We have to not worry about them, not think about them, give them the respect these teams deserve but concentrate on what we want to do, what we’re trying to implement and if we do that and to the level that I believe we can then I think we’ll win.
“I think that when you’re down the bottom of the league the first goal is always important, either way. I think if we get the first goal, when teams are struggling you can be low on confidence and that can really affect you.
“I think if we’d have got one on Saturday against Grimsby, we’d have won the game comfortably, but teams love coming to this stadium, they love coming and seeing the wonderful pitch and surroundings and they raise their game.
“We have to raise our game, every team is going to do that to us this season, we are a scalp, but we have to concentrate on ourselves and make sure that we perform to the levels we can do. If we do then we’ll win, and if we don’t we won’t, that’s football and it’s that simple.”
Looking ahead to playing Oldham, Barrow and Cambridge United over the next week?
“I think we’ve looked at the schedule and I think before Christmas we have one free week, Saturday to Saturday, everything else is Saturday-Tuesday.
“It’s a lot of games but good because they’re opportunities and if you can start building momentum and build consistency, then you’ll fly up this league pretty quickly.
“No one’s getting away, this league is wide open this year and I haven’t seen anything which strikes fear into me. We’ve just got to concentrate on ourselves, keep our own belief, keep working ever so hard on the training pitch which we are doing, and I’m certain that we will pick up and pick up quickly.”
Injury news and is Kioso fit to play?
“Peter has looked excellent. He’s more than ready (to start). The benefits of signing him on loan from a Championship club is that he’s been playing, he’s been training, he’s not really had a break because of the extended season so he’s ready to go and what I’ve seen from him has been very good and very pleasing and exactly what I thought he was, so he’s available and involved.
“In terms of the others, Shaun Miller and Lloyd Isgrove are both running again, we’re just going to be slightly overcautious with them and make sure that we give them maybe a week or two longer to make sure that they’re robust enough to be able to cope with it when they come back. We don’t want them to come back and rush back and break down again, so other than that we’re not far away.”
On Grimsby drawing v Bolton and then beating Cheltenham showing how competitive League Two is this season?
“I think it is competitive. They could have won by five, I watched the game, it could have been more than the 3-1 it was. I think we dominated the game without really hurting them on Saturday.
“I think the last two minutes probably clouded people’s judgement because they had a bit of an attack and they had a couple of set pieces, you might have thought they could have nicked it late on, but we controlled the majority of the game, we just weren’t clinical enough in the final third.
“Whether that was a cross, a pass, a decision, a shot, our movement, committing bodies forward, we just just didn’t do it well enough. We’ve worked ever so hard this week on that, hopefully we’ll see it change on Saturday.”
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Your opposite number at Oldham Harry Kewell has said managers need three years to change a football club – is that realistic?
“I don’t think it’ll take me three years. I’d be worried if it would! I have a firm belief in myself and a firm belief in what I do.
“I think it’s very good and I think if you speak to people that have worked with me as players they will say good things.
“We are very early on, we’ve signed 20 players, we’re playing a whole new way, Bolton have never played possession based football really before.
“It does take time and we’re impatient at times, myself included, but we are very very early on, no prizes are given out in September. We need to keep belief, keep picking up points and we’ll improve as the season goes on.”
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