BOLTON Wanderers' head of football operations Tobias Phoenix has revealed ex-Barrow AFC Ian Evatt manager was the club’s number one candidate.

Evatt signed for the former Premier League outfit last week - just a fortnight after the Bluebirds’ promotion to League Two was confirmed.

“We’re absolutely delighted to have brought Ian to the football club,” Phoenix told the club’s website.

“There was a high calibre of applicant and we’d like to thank each and every one of them for taking the time to apply for the role, but Ian was our first choice.

“We’d also like to place on record our thanks to Barrow for their professionalism throughout the whole process.”

Undertaking his role with Wanderers back in February, Phoenix spoke about the work being done behind the scenes to get a grip on recruitment and bring players to the Football Club; touching on the shared footballing philosophy of playing attacking and expansive football, detailed by Evatt earlier in the week.

“I’ve been absolutely flat out on the recruitment side of things,” he said. “I arrived at the start of February and we’ve really used the period over lockdown to be as forward as we can in our processes.

“The beauty of bringing Ian to the football club is that he sees football how I see it, but he sees it from a professional’s point of view.

“I can’t do what he does, but I’ve got a basic idea of what I want it to look like, as have the board and as has Peter Kenyon – obviously Ian can then take that forward and turn it into something beautiful on a Saturday.

“The type of players we want to bring to the football club are the players that Ian likes and he and I are very much synchronised in our thinking and how we see the blueprint for our players at Bolton Wanderers and how we’d like to see the team on a Saturday afternoon.”

Despite financial restraints on Football Clubs up and down the country amidst the Coronavirus pandemic and the potential of spending restrictions put in place by the EFL, Wanderers’ head of recruitment insists the board will back both himself and Evatt to be able to bring in the players required to ensure the Football Club has the best opportunity to succeed.

“Some of the answers to what we can spend on bringing players to the club will be dictated to us by the EFL, if the salary caps come into the divisions,” he said.

“In terms of pre-pandemic and without a potential wage cap, the board are going to back us to bring the players to the football club that we want.