Wycombe Wanderers manager Gareth Ainsworth has praised the job Bolton boss Ian Evatt has so far achieved at the club.

Evatt, who played with Ainsworth at Queens Park Rangers in the 2005/06 season, began his reign at the Trotters in the summer of 2020 after they were relegated to League Two.

Bolton had just suffered a campaign of financial turmoil, with the club at one point, just hours away from liquidation.

However, the North West side spent just one season in England’s fourth tier as Evatt, in his first year as a Football League boss, masterminded a finish in the automatic places.

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His second season was also impressive as he guided the club to ninth in League One, 10 points off the play-offs.

This comes after Evatt spent two seasons in charge of Non League Barrow, whom he helped gain promotion to the Football League for the first time in 2020.

Speaking ahead of the Wanderers clash on August 6, Ainsworth said: “Ian has cut his teeth in the Non League before getting his chance and he’s rightly taken it.

“Their promotion from League Two was great and they had good momentum when they got into League One.

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“Surviving from League One after you get promoted from League Two is a tough gig.

“We’ve done it, but it’s really, really tough.

“So really, what we need to do is treat ourselves that we are one of the biggest teams in the league and go up there as we do, to try and stop people playing their game.”

Both Ainsworth and Evatt shared the pitch 25 times during the latter’s only season with QPR in 2005/06, as the West London club finished 21st in the Championship.

The current Wycombe boss would spend another three years with QPR before moving to the Chairboys where he would remain, whilst Evatt would move to Blackpool.

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He spent seven seasons with the Tangerines and helped the team achieve promotion to both the Championship and Premier League during that time.

Five years at Chesterfield followed before his retirement, and since becoming a manager, he has taken charge of 200 matches, winning 90 of them.

Ainsworth continued: “I know him well as we played together at QPR, and you don’t get a promotion with Bolton Wanderers if you’re not a good manager.

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“So, we will need to be ready to face them.

“It’s a very big club with huge expectations and being a football manager is not an easy job, believe me.

“And he has done a fantastic job so far, and he has earned his own success and I am sure we will have a beer after the game.”