Evatt loves ‘life changing’ season

Blackpool's Ian Evatt
Blackpool's Ian Evatt

IAN Evatt admits life has changed for everyone in the Blackpool dressing room since promotion to the Premier League.

They earn more, are on TV each week and have become mini-celebrities around the Fylde.

But the defender says that while the perks are nice, there is only one reason he is desperate to stay in the top flight.

Evatt said: “It is not about being recognised or anything like that – we are footballers and we want to play at the best level we can.

“We play for Blackpool, so it’s not as if we are being paid ridiculous amounts of money. Some people lose their hunger but we are all hungry.

“We want to stay at this level for the right reasons, not just the financial ones or for the publicity.

“This level means you are playing at the top of your game, and in years to come all the boys want to be able to look back on this and say they achieved something.

“By staying up we’d have definitely done that. If we go down we’ll all be failures and we don’t want that.”

Evatt has played in every league game this season and heads to Blackburn today believing three wins from the final nine games will keep the club in the top flight.

He he has loved every minute of the season but admits it has been an eye-opener.

He explained: “For a lot of the lads being at this level has changed their lives.

“The Press are taking note of us, so are other clubs.

“Look at Charlie Adam – two years ago Rangers didn’t want him and now clubs like Liverpool are coming in for him. It is a boost to everybody, not just Charlie, when that happens.

“Through the publicity we’re getting I think people are starting to realise we are good players and not just a lucky team.

“No disrespect to the Championship but this is the place to be. It is a fantastic league and every week you come up against a new challenge.

“It is a massive challenge to stay in this division but the lads will fight tooth and nail to make sure we do.”

As for today’s game, Evatt says three points would be great ... but not vital.

He added: “The players don’t see this match as make-or-break because we need three wins and have nine games to get them.

“If we lose, we go onto the next one. That’s the way we’ve got to look at it.

“We will try and get the points we need as soon as we can but it’s not a total disaster if we lose. That said, we will be going all out to get three points.”