Bolton Wanderers manager Ian Evatt has made an outlandishly bold claim that he can guide the Trotters back to the Premier League within the next five years.
The Greater Manchester outfit have not seen the top flight since 2012 when they were relegated to the Championship and they haven’t been close to making it back since.
Another relegation to the third tier of English football followed in 2016 before promotion back to the Championship, and they felt the lows of League Two for one campaign only in 2020-21.
Quiz: Can you name which club Bolton Wanderers signed these 28 defenders from?
Under Evatt though they made it back to League One at the first attempt but currently sit in 18th position – some 17 points away from the play-off places.
Evatt has already made the claim earlier in the campaign that he believed his team were the best in the third tier and since then the Trotters have dramatically slid down the table.
Now he’s gone even further and predicted that they can be back in the promised land by 2027 – potentially with him still in charge.
“I am a very confident lad and I’d like to think I have built enough credit in the bank over the last two seasons, and what I have achieved, to say I know what I am doing,” Evatt said, per The Bolton News.
“I do know what is required, I do know we’re in a transitional period and that it has been rough for the last few months. I also know where this club is heading.
“Now people will laugh at me, they will say this or that, but I believe this club will be in the Premier League within the next five years.
“The proof is in the pudding. I have to go and do it. For the here and now I need to keep my own counsel, my own self-belief and try and give people more action than words.”
Evatt has been lambasted this season for his comments about Bolton being the best team in League One as they soon went on a poor run of form after that.
He will be hoping that his latest claim doesn’t have a similar effect, but things right now could not get much worse with the club having not won since November.
There’s been fresh additions since then though with four new arrivals so far at the University of Bolton Stadium and they could be the catalyst for change.
It does seem hard to think that Bolton will be a Premier League club by 2027 though right now, but teams like Norwich, Sheffield United and Bournemouth in recent years have picked up quick successive promotions so it’s not beyond the realms of possibility.