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Bolton Nuts » BWFC » Bolton Wanderers Banter » The list that Ian Evatt does not want to join at Bolton Wanderers this weekend

The list that Ian Evatt does not want to join at Bolton Wanderers this weekend

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Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse
Defeat at Colchester United on Saturday would put Ian Evatt into an entirely unwanted bracket among Bolton Wanderers custodians.

John Bentley is the only man to lose his first four competitive games, that in his second spell club secretary back when the Football League had not yet been formed and the role of manager was not an official one.

Bentley lost an FA Cup match against Preston North End 9-1 in December 1887 and then the following September, saw the team beaten by Derby County, Burnley and Preston (again) as the new organised Division One format began.

Since then, only seven other people have managed four games at Bolton and failed to win one.

The legendary Charles Foweraker stands out as an anomaly in the pack as he was destined for greater success, helping the club lift three FA Cups in the 1920s. But the record books show he got off to a difficult start by taking just one point from his opening four games. His winless run ended against Manchester City with Joe Smith scoring twice in a 4-1 romp.

Jimmy McIlroy lost both his games in charge of Bolton in an infamous 18-day reign, which led to a spell in temporary charge for Nat Lofthouse.

Nat’s former England colleague, Jimmy Meadows, officially took charge on January 15, 1971, the day before a game at Sheffield United.

And it is said that Lofthouse picked the team which came from behind that day, where seven of the team were aged 20 or under and a 17-year-old Paul Jones made his debut.

The win – deserved or not – appears under Meadows’ name in most record books but the team failed to register another victory in his remaining 10 games in charge, after which Lofthouse was reinstated again as a temporary measure.

With that in mind, Meadows’ problematic spell should probably be the yardstick when measuring poor starts.

At the turn of the 1980s Stan Anderson also inherited a tough situation at Burnden Park and despite getting a 2-2 home draw with Leeds United and a 1-1 draw against Arsenal in the FA Cup, it took unti his sixth game to chalk up a win.

It came in spectacular fashion, though, with Brian Clough’s Nottingam Forest beaten by a solitary Neil Whatmore goal in what was only the second victory of the season for Bolton in Division One.

It was seventh time lucky for Charlie Wright when he took permanent charge in 1985.

He managed a goalless draw with Swansea City in his second game on February 16 but had to wait until March 12 for his first win, which arrived at Rochdale in the Freight Rover Trophy courtesy of a solitary Tony Caldwell strike.

Sammy Lee’s winless streak at the start of his brief managerial tenure at Bolton straddled two seasons, and it was a 2-2 draw against Aston Villa on May 13, 2007, which actually secured a UEFA Cup for the club the following season. Gary Speed and Kevin Davies supplied the goals.

Lee would be victorious just the once in domestic competition, his sixth game overall, with Speed, Nicolas Anelka and Daniel Braaten on target in a 3-0 win against Reading.

His successor Gary Megson also had to wait half a dozen games – but in fairness to the one-time Ginger Mourinho, one of those games was at Bayern Munich, and the victory eventually game at home to Manchester United.

Last season, Keith Hill took nine games to register a win – if you include the fact he was officially appointed before the EFL Trophy game against Bradford City but did not stay in the dugout.

Early draws against Sunderland and Oxford were eventually bettered with an away win at Bristol Rovers, courtesy of goals from Luke and Daryl Murphy.

So while the narrative is not exactly straightforward on some of the men who have sat in the Wanderers dugout, Evatt will unquestionably want a win on the board sooner, rather than later, to ensure he gets grouped with some of the more successful starters.

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