Ian Evatt has admitted that the timing of his departure as manager from Barrow AFC to take over at Bolton Wanderers was ‘not ideal.’

The 38-year-old left to become head coach with the Trotters on Wednesday, just two weeks after the Bluebirds were promoted to the English Football League as champions of the National League.

It brought to end a hugely successful two years in charge at a club that gave the former Blackpool and Chesterfield centre-back his first managerial opportunity and one he repaid by giving them a winning style of football that ultimately earned a place in League Two next season.

However, someone else will have to take up the reigns for AFC’s first EFL campaign for 48 years, while he has taken assistant manager Peter Atherton, analyst Lewis Duckmanton and physio Callum Walters with him.

On leaving, Evatt told the Bolton News: “The timing wasn’t ideal because we’d just won the league.

“I have only been a manager for just over two years, so it is a bit of a ‘pinch yourself’ moment when you realise you are in charge of Bolton Wanderers. But what an amazing opportunity and I back myself and my staff 100 per cent to make a success of it.

“I have got a blank canvass. I have got an opportunity to recruit a team according to how I want to play.

“We’ll do the homework, do the research to the best of our ability, and bring in players who will change the way that Bolton have been playing football for some time now.”

Supporters will have had their minds put at ease over Evatt coming in for any of their players by the clause that prevents Bolton from approaching any Barrow player under contract for two years

He will face the Bluebirds in the opposition dugout next season, as back-to-back relegations for the Trotters, coupled with AFC’s promotion, has led to them sharing a division for the first time ever.

Evatt said: “So many things attracted me to the job in the end, the history, the size of the club, the facilities – which are top drawer – but mostly the fact that I just don’t think Bolton Wanderers should be where they are right now.

“I feel like it needs a fresh outlook, a change of direction and someone to get people talking about the club in the right terms again.”