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Bolton boss slams ‘unprofessional’ Walsall bench for heated touchline scenes

Bolton Wanderers boss Ian Evatt slams an ‘unprofessional’ Walsall bench for heated touchline scenes which took place on Saturday afternoon.

The Trotters went ahead in the first half against the Saddlers thanks to Eoin Doyle, however Walsall equalised through Elijah Adebayo on the cusp of half time, however there was calls that Ali Crawford had been fouled in the build-up.

The hosts took the lead and then held on for all three points when Rory Holden lashed home from just outside the box after the break as Bolton fell to defeat.

It has left them 16th in the League Two table, taking 22 points from 17 games, whilst Walsall climb up to 11th with 24 points.

Off the pitch, it got heated with the behaviour of the Walsall bench including boss Darrell Clarke slammed by Ian Evatt who also got involved.

After one disagreement, referee Michael Salisbury intervened and showed a yellow card to the Saddlers bench.

Speaking after the defeat, Evatt alleged Walsall were ‘unprofessional’ in how they approached the officials during the game due to several members of the Saddlers camp getting involved.

He said: “The rule for people getting in the fourth official’s ear – it should be the coach in my opinion.

“Anything more than the coach and a manager is unprofessional and I think that was unprofessional from them today.

“I just think when there’s six constantly cheerleading in the referee’s ear and lambasting the fourth official, it’s just not good for football. I think we need to be better than that.”

Bolton had a goal disallowed in the first half when Nathan Delfouneso saw his close range effort ruled out for offside.

Evatt was left even more annoyed by the suspected foul on Crawford in the build-up to Walsall making it 1-1, claiming a similar incident also came out towards full time but again the decision went against Bolton.

He said: “Nathan thinks he was onside but I don’t know. I have more issue with the foul for the build-up for the first goal on Ali Crawford.

“I think the lad’s got him around the scruff of the neck and dragged him to the floor, and then the same thing happened late on in the game where they’ve got the ball in the corner and the linesman gives a soft foul. I don’t understand the rule.”

Saddlers boss Darrell Clarke gave his version of events, saying what happened in the incident during the game and believes his side’s actions were purely down to his side’s passion to win matches.

He told the Express & Star: “It gets heated on the side and I don’t really want to get involved in it.

“At the end of the day we’re passionate for this football club. The staff want to win for this football club.

“I don’t think we particularly overstepped the line, to be honest. We’re passionate people, that’s it.

“For me, he can come into my office and have a drink.

“Ian is an experienced pro, he’s been around the block a little bit. I’ve come against Ian and he’s got a few tricks in his book himself.

“We understand it but we’ll take the win and try and enjoy it.”

The exit of Bolton’s head of football operations, Tobias Phoenix, was confirmed this week. He struggled to win popularity with the fanbase.

The Bolton News understands Phoenix has not been present at the club for a number of weeks but a statement released by the club, explaining he has now stepped down from his role.

She said: “Tobias has made a big contribution to the club since joining in February including his involvement in the appointment of Ian Evatt. He has also been instrumental in shaping our football operations and we thank him for his hard work.

“At the time Tobias joined we could not have envisaged the impact which the pandemic would have on the club and we have continually had to assess the staff structure during this time. We wish Tobias every success in the future.”

Phoenix added: “I’m proud of the contribution I’ve made at the club over the summer and I would like to thank Sharon and the board for the opportunity to help steer this great football club. I look forward to seeing the club have success in the future.”

He has a frosty relationship with previous manager Keith Hill and speaking when Evatt was unveiled as ‘head coach’ in the summer, Phoenix believed that people had got the wrong idea about his role.

“Football has changed,” he said. “The days of a manager coming into the training ground and saying ‘I want that wall knocked over and rebuilding there’ are long gone.

“Our take is different. I have seen a few things in the media, and I don’t do social media, thank God, but different people have got different versions of what this director of football/head coach role looks like.

“When I was in my meeting with Peter Kenyon I was asked what job title I wanted. I won’t give you the answer, because it isn’t suitable to air, but the title is absolutely irrelevant.

“What is relevant is understanding the project, understanding the expectation, knowing my role. The actual title on the door is completely irrelevant.

“There are plenty of people who have a pre-conceived perception of what my role is, and what Ian’s is, but there’s no manual. What’s important is the dynamic between him and I and the obvious synchronisation of how we’d like football played at the University of Bolton Stadium, the type of people and footballers we want to see in our building.”

There was reaction as the Bolton boss slams an ‘unprofessional’ Walsall bench for heated touchline scenes…

Stephen Bransby: Sour grapes welcome to Division Two !!!!!

Craig Barnes: Why get involved? All i have heard from Ian since the game are digs at Walsall. They beat us fair and square. For the second week in a row we let a team outmuscle us. We have had no one to replace Andy Tutte.

Alex Forsyth: Cry baby

Lee Banks: Arrr bless him. Stop fecking crying and take your defeat like a man not a pussy. It’s embarrassing

Graham Ogden: What a moaning twat.

Jason Lee: All I see him do is moan all the time, needs to stop, blamed the fans, openly criticised his own keeper, now get into trouble with other team staff

Russell Cook: Bullied on and off the pitch. Welcome to league two

David Murphy: Surely he should be more concerned by his team having one shot on target in 90 minutes. and Walsall’s keeper should be more concerned that it went in.

Steve Holroyd: Ian Evatts really doesn’t do himself any favours. Instead of Constantly looking for excuses and other people to blame he should take responsibility himself , manup and stop crying like a baby

Jake Kimberley: That Ian Evatt a proper weird knobhead

Peter Foster: This Bolton boss man, who does he think he is, slams an ‘unprofessional’ Walsall bench for those heated touchline scenes, needs to get a grip

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