There’s a huge interest here,” Evatt adds. “I believe the competition itself is a good one. For whatever reason, it is undervalued and we have a responsibility as custodians of the
game to push and champion this competition. Hopefully, the teams that we’ve selected and the way we’ve approached it this season can help to do that.
“I can’t remember the last occasion where the final four teams in the competition are all League One teams. Then with ourselves and Plymouth being two of the top four in the league, it shows that more teams are taking it seriously.
“We’ve taken it very, very seriously. It deserves that: any team that has the opportunity to play at Wembley should grab it with both hands. I was fortunate enough to play at Wembley a
number of times during my playing career and its a fantastic memory and one that stays with you and your family. I want that for my players.”
The likes of Bukayo Saka, Mason Mount and Declan Rice all made their professional debuts in the tournament. And in recent years, both
Sunderland and Rotherham have won the tournament before going on to achieve promotion just a few months later – a feat that Bolton are aiming to emulate.
“Winning football matches is a habit and it breeds confidence; we’ve used this competition to help gain that confidence. Players should become addicted to winning –
it’s a massive thing. Seeing the players go through this competition and seeing what the opportunity to play at Wembley means to them has been really refreshing,” added Evatt