Ian Evatt insists he does not want Bolton Wanderers to become Manchester City – but believes it is no bad thing to have comparisons drawn with the Premier League champions.
The Wanderers manager admits he is not a City fan, as such, but has put on record many times his admiration for Pep Guardiola and how he has got the Etihad Stadium outfit playing.
Guardiola has overseen three Premier League titles in the past four seasons at City and will be aiming to compete for another crown this campaign.
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Like Guardiola, Evatt has his sights set on the upper echelons of the division they compete in and Wanderers currently sit third in League One after the 5-2 rout of Ipswich Town at Portman Road on Saturday.
Wanderers went behind early on thanks to Macauley Bonne’s strike, but got back on level terms thanks to Dapo Afolayan.
Eoin Doyle then put Wanderers ahead from the penalty spot, before Ipswich leveled after Bonne’s shot went in off Ricardo Almeida Santos.
Afolayan then grabbed his second of the game on the stroke of half-time, before the returning Josh Sheehan added a fourth after the break, as George Johnston added a fifth to cap off a remarkable game which has left Bolton third in League One.
Evatt was most pleased with his side’s goals in the first half and picked out the third strike – Afolayan’s second – as the pick of the bunch.
He believed it started with goalkeeper Joel Dixon – the English Ederson, as Evat coined him – as he praised Wanderers’ exploits on the counter attack.
And though he does not want Wanderers to become City, he believes it is no bad thing to be compared to them with their playing style as he hailed his side coming from behind and responding to the early setback.
He said: “I’m more pleased with our first half goals to be honest, because the way that we worked the ball was excellent.
“I speak a lot about Man City and it pains me because I’m not really a Man City fan, but I’m a Pep fan, and that third goal, finding solutions, rotation in midfield, drawing them under the ball, and then attacking quickly.
“Joel – the English Ederson – sprayed the ball to our full-back Gethin (Jones), who knocks it around the corner to Eoin (Doyle) or Izzy (Lloyd Isgrove) – that was a counter attacking Man City goal.
“We don’t want to be them, but it’s not a bad thing being like them and being compared to them, so we’ll keep working hard and see where it takes us.
“It’s this group isn’t it. That’s what we do. It’s how we are as a team. We’ve had lots of adversity. We have amazing team spirit and team spirit can get you a long way in this game.”