Managers Reaction: Gateshead 0-2 Barrow

Manager Ian Evatt’s thoughts after our 2-0 win at Gateshead!

Bluebirds boss Ian Evatt was delighted with his side, after a superb first half performance set the tone for a last day win at Gateshead:

“I think first half we were excellent, we really pushed on from what we did against Hartlepool and could have, probably should have been 3/4 nil up at half time.

In the second half it was a bit of a case of flip flops are on, the game is won and we have to be better than that, we have to improve moving forward. But it’s an excellent result in the end to finish a decent season.”


Whilst many people may see this season as a success, the Gaffer feels like his side are capable of more:

“I say it’s a decent season because I think we can do better, I think everyone knows well enough by now that where we have finished isn’t acceptable to me, we have to be in and around the play-off positions at least. Hopefully next season we can do that.”


The Bluebirds hero on the day was John Rooney, who scored two first half goals and his manager was delighted with him:

“John’s a very good player, I think that’s double figures for the season with only one penalty and that’s very good and something to be proud of. He’s had a good year and has been available pretty much every week so hopefully we can get something sorted in the next few days. Obviously there are a few more that we need to get sorted that we would like to keep, and then we will be looking at recruitment for the summer.”


The final game of the season marks the start of an important summer for the club, and the manager is under no illusions as to how important it will be:

“It’s a big summer for everyone, the club as a whole is moving forward at a rate of knots at the moment, and I love the way the town is re-engaging with the playing squad and the the club itself. The volunteers are amazing with what they do on a Sunday and the ground is being developed. We are changing things and taking things very seriously.

We are keeping hold of our better players which is important and we are a club that is going places. We have to keep our heads down though, keep working as hard as we have all season, and we need to change our mentality so that a top half finish isn’t good enough anymore. We want to be in the top reaches of this division and there is no reason why we can’t. We have the players to do it, we have the club to do it and we have the fans to do it – but it’s going to take a big push from everyone. Hopefully we can do that as a group and this time next year we are in and around, either in the football league or in a play-off where we can get ourselves there.”


Whilst remaining tight lipped on just who the Bluebirds will play when our pre-season friendlies arrive, Evatt thinks Bluebirds fans will be happy with the clubs his side will face:

“We’ve got some very good games pre-season, tough ones but very good tests for us, especially at home. Hopefully, once they get announced, the fans will be happy with who we are playing. There are some very big clubs coming up to Holker Street to give us a game and it just shows you that they have heard about how we play & what we do. Hopefully we can get some big crowds in pre-season and then we can start next season hitting the ground running.”


The manager believes that pre-season will be important for his players, with a chance to further develop after the progress made this season:

“We have to test ourselves and have to keep improving. We have developed all season but we are nowhere near what we can be, obviously we’re still learning now and there is still so much to work on.

You see the 90 minutes against Hartlepool and the first half today and it kind of takes your breath away, but then you see the second half performance and we have to learn and be consistently good. We have to become addicted to winning and have the same self confidence in every game, we will have off days but it’s how you manage those off days and bounce back from them.

We have had too many off days this season and that’s why we are where we are. But we will learn and work hard and hopefully we can do something special.”


The win in the North East topped off a good week for Evatt and the club, after he signed a new three year contract:

“I hope it shows that I’m a loyal guy and I will try my utmost to get Barrow back into the football league. That’s what I want, that’s what I want to achieve and I’m here to do it. That’s my job and again I can’t thank the fans, the board and everyone for buying into what I’m trying to do.”