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Fans slam Bolton manager for publicly criticising young keeper

Fans have decided to slam Bolton Wanderers manager Ian Evatt for publicly criticising a young keeper of the club’s after this weekend’s game.

There was strong words from the Trotters boss as he discussed the mistake made by his 20 year old keeper Billy Crellin in the 1-1 draw at Cambridge United.

Bolton earned a point for the third time in four League Two matches, Billy Crellin’s punch went back towards his own goal and in off the post to put the hosts 1-0 up, though Antoni Sarcevic found the equaliser eight minutes from time, with the Bolton skipper firing the ball well into the bottom corner from outside the box.

Three minutes into the second half, Ali Crawford passed the ball beyond Dimi Mitov to Harry Brockbank, but his tap-in was ruled out for offside. Many on social media questioned whether it was the right or wrong decision, take a look yourself…

“Disappointing is an understatement, I think the lads deserved to win today,” Evatt said. “Against a team that are flying high, top of the league, scoring loads of goals, I can’t remember them having much of a chance.

“The back three defended like men. The team deserved more.

“We’ve been let down by officials. Harry Brockbank’s goal, a wonderful goal, was legitimate and three yards onside.

“And then the mistake by Billy. I’ve just spoken to Billy in there. He’s a fantastic young goalie with lots of attributes and assets but we cannot afford him to keep making mistakes – it’s that simple.

“He cost us the first goal in my opinion at Barrow on Tuesday, maybe the second one as well, and then today. This is me saying to him publicly ‘Man Up’. I’ve had that conversation privately, this is a man’s game.

“Three points are at stake and my team deserved to win today.

“For whatever reason at the moment lady luck isn’t smiling on us. That will change, it’s a long old season.

“The most important thing is the performance. The performance against a team that’s scoring at will and top of this league was great.”

UPDATE: Speaking to The Bolton News, Evatt admitted he should have chosen his words more carefully but stood by his decision to discuss the player’s form in the media.

“The terminology should have been better,” he said. “And I apologise for that if any offence has been caused.

“What I’d meant was that there is a big step up between junior football and senior football and that Billy does have to get to grips with that as soon as possible.

“I have spoken to him this morning and he understands what I meant. He agrees with the sentiment, in fact. So there is no problem there at all.”

Former Bolton striker Marvin Sordell was also unhappy with Evatt: “It baffles me so much. If he thinks his performances have been shaky so far, what does he expect will happen now?” he wrote on Twitter.

Evatt maintains, however, that his words will not have come as any surprise to Crellin or the rest of his team-mates.

“I had spoken to Billy during the week about my concerns and it was the same after the game,” he said. “Nothing I said in the media was any different to what I said to Billy in person.

“Bolton Wanderers fans will know by now that what you see is what you get with me, honesty and clarity. I won’t hide anything. And my players know that as well.

“I fully accept, though, it wasn’t the best choice of phrase and I can’t take that back.

“And I am disappointed that we’re sat talking about this on a Sunday rather than what was a good performance at Cambridge.”

Fans chose to slam the Bolton manager for publicly criticising the young keeper, with the social media clip getting over 1,000 retweets and hundreds of comments in under 24 hours after the match finishing.

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