Evatt: I’m still premier class

Ian Evatt in action against Chelsea's Fernando Torres
Ian Evatt in action against Chelsea's Fernando Torres
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IAN Evatt has described Blackpool as “a special club” and he is not surprised Stephen Crainey and Matt Gilks have decided to stay.

Evatt, who has signed a contract extension which will keep him at Bloomfield Road until 2014, also revealed he’s setting himself high standards for the coming season.

He believes he is “a Premier League player” and wants to ensure his performances to reflect that.

The 29-year-old is full of hope for the Championship campaign, and points out that with Crainey and Gilks signed up Pool’s rearguard will be the same in the top flight.

Evatt said: “It’s going to be pretty much the same back five and hopefully we won’t concede as many goals as last season.

“It’s great Crains has decided to come back.

“This place is something special and nobody really wants to leave.

“Fair play to David Vaughan and Charlie Adam, who have gone on to big clubs on big salaries, but the rest of the boys who want to be here will be fighting tooth and nail to get the club back in the Premier League, where it belongs.”

As for himself, the centreback added: “I’ve got a lot to live up to this year and it’s not going to be easy, I see myself now as a Premier League player in my head and I have to prove to everyone that I’m that good.

“That means being outstanding every week. Fingers crossed I can do that and Blackpool can push for promotion again.”

With Vaughan and Adam gone, Evatt is a top contender to take over as captain.

Only Keith Southern, Crainey and Gary Taylor-Fletcher are real challengers, though the latter two may be ruled out because of their positions on the pitch.

Pool’s skipper for the coming season will be revealed when Holloway names his team for next Tuesday’s friendly with Rangers.