Bolton Wanderers boss Ian Evatt on 'social media negatives' affecting players
IAN Evatt has urged his players to ignore social media negativity and concentrate on the job at hand.
The Wanderers boss believes some of his squad have been affected by comments made on Twitter, Facebook and the like during the club’s poor start to the season.
And though he accepts supporters have a right to voice their disappointment after just two wins from the opening 10 games, he believes reading criticism is not necessarily going to help get results back on track.
“I think social media was brought in for positivity and to bring people together but what it has done is created the opposite,” he told The Bolton News.
“The minority have become the loudest voice. There isn’t any accountability, you can register 10, 11, 12 accounts and say what you want about anyone, and in my view it’s wrong.
“As a football club we’re going through a transitional period, no doubt about it. A huge restart. And we all want success.
“I understand the frustration, I completely get it, but now is the time to come together as a club, even though it’s tough to do so after Saturday.
“The players do read the comments. They do feed off it. And regardless of what I say about not doing it, sometimes it’s unavoidable for them. And it can affect their confidence whether they are in a stadium or not.”
Wanderers welcome Mansfield Town to the University of Bolton Stadium tonight and while Evatt may ordinarily have asked fans to get behind the team during 90 minutes, he hopes some balance can be shown after the final whistle by fans watching on the internet.
“Let’s try and be as positive as we can be,” he said. “We are on this journey together and we all want success. I won’t stop until we get it.
“I am equally as frustrated about the start we have made and I get exactly why people are upset at the moment, but the sooner we pull together again, the quicker it will get better.
“And I totally get that It is on me, the staff and the players to create a more positive environment. Hopefully, we do that with a good result and performance against Mansfield.”
Evatt says he will trust his players to use social media responsibly but adds that they can only change critics’ opinion with positive results.
“Football is one of those industries where you can be a hero one minute and the villain the next. It happens day-to-day, minute-by-minute, pass-by-pass,” he said.
“As a player you have to keep yourself level, some sort of balance.
“And if it does affect you then come off it, don’t read it.
“Some of them will use it as motivation, as fuel to the fire, and if that works, fantastic. We have had some players getting criticised – like Ricardo Santos or Antoni Sarcevic – who are now starting to show true form and turning around opinion quickly.
“We all need to do the same. If it affects you then it becomes white noise. You have to focus on your job – and that’s giving everything importance: The next pass, the next touch, the next tackle. Win the next moment.
“If you do that then confidence will grow and opinions will change, that’s the game we’re in.
“For now, me, staff and the players just need to concentrate on getting our job right.
“If we win games consistently then I know our fans will back us because they are great. They have been through the mill, they have had tough times, and we want to bring them here.
“For now, we have to do our jobs properly.”
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