Managers Reaction: Barrow 2-3 Dover Athletic

Manager Ian Evatt’s reaction after our home defeat to Dover.


Bluebirds manager Ian Evatt gave a frank analysis of his side’s performance after seeing them fall to defeat at home to Dover Athletic on Saturday:

“I’m not devastated, I’m furious. It’s happening too often now, it’s easy for me to say certain things and stick up for them but I can’t defend that last twenty minutes, it’s extremely poor.

It’s more than a one off now, there seems to be a soft underbelly where one becomes two goals which becomes three and no one seems to take hold of it.

It’s all well and good saying it’s the end of the season and we’re comfortably mid-table. But as I’ve said many times, that’s not what I want for this football club, it’s not what I want as a person, it’s not what I want as a manager and I won’t accept it.”


With the end of the season just two weeks away, Evatt challenged his players to prove they are worthy of a place in his side next season:

The summer is quickly approaching, contracts are up for renewal and this is going to be a club to be part of. I have some big decisions to make and I will make them. There is not one of them in that dressing room that can have any complaints either way.

They’ve had enough chances and the definition of insanity is when you keep doing the same things and expecting different results, we keep doing the same things and making the same mistakes and so we keep getting punished. I’m not happy and there will be changes because this club is going places.

Being mid-table isn’t acceptable and I don’t care who says they delighted with where we are, I’m the manager and I’m not delighted. I’m not happy, we want to be better, I expect better and we should be doing better.”


The Bluebirds boss wasn’t prepared to allow his players to make any excuses after the game and knows what his side need to do to progress:

There are no excuses, if they can’t deal with 1400 fans here, which is fantastic support by the way, but that isn’t pressure. There is no pressure here and they should be enjoying playing their football. They should want to win and have the desire to win football matches, at times this season we haven’t shown that enough, that real bite. We’re too soft, too naive and too nice and that has to change.

Some of the stuff we play is excellent but some of it isn’t there by any means and we have to learn that sometimes we’re not always going to have it our own way. Teams are going to have spells and it’s about how we deal with those spells, and come out of the other side.

If, for instance, a team does score against us – so what? We get the ball out of the net and go and score at the other end. That should be the attitude and at the moment it’s not.”


Evatt believes things are building nicely off the pitch, but says no one should be settling for the improvements made both on and off the field this season:

“The momentum gathering off the pitch at this football club is excellent. The board and the rest of the staff who work at the club are doing a magnificent job in creating that momentum, that atmosphere and getting things right off the pitch. We need to get things right on the pitch.

People might say to me “Ian you’ve done great you’re 11th, we only survived relegation by a point last year on the last day”, but I don’t care about that. That’s not what I want, it’s not what I expect. I want this club to be back in the football league and I firmly believe that we will get it right and get there, but days like today make it challenging because we know things need changing, that big decisions need to be made and we will make them.

We have a clear idea of what we need to do and where we need to do it. The effort and commitment the lads have given me on the training pitch has been excellent, we have come a long way in a short space of time, but we can be doing better.”


The Gaffer outlined what he believes everyone at the club, from the Board to the Supporters need to do to take things to the next level, and he says it’s all about belief:

“I just get the feeling that there is that underbelly, not just with the playing squad, of a feeling that we’re doing great and this is brilliant and we’re 11th and we can’t believe how well we’re doing. I think some of the players are feeling that, some of the fans are probably feeling that but we have to change our mindset and mentality.

To achieve anything and to get to the football league which is where we want to be, we have to expect to win every game, do we expect to win every game at the moment? Probably not. So I’ve got to get everyone believing that we can do that and I will work ever so hard with Peter (Atherton) and the rest of the staff to embed that mentality into the players and into the town, into the board and whoever so that everyone next season believes that this squad and this club can reach the football league because I firmly believe we can.

The crowd were great today, 1400 was a great number and it’s an improvement on where we have been. I’m just gutted that we couldn’t win the game, at 2-0 up with 15 minutes to go it should be a given at home but we haven’t seen it out so it’s not good enough. We have to work hard to change that and hopefully we can finish the season strong.”