Barrow turn down approach from managerless AFC Fylde for Ian Evatt

Fylde have identified Evatt as their number one target
Fylde have identified Evatt as their number one target

Barrow have turned down an official approach for Ian Evatt from managerless AFC Fylde, the National League club have confirmed.

READ MORE: AFC Fylde identify Barrow boss Ian Evatt as potential replacement for axed Dave Challinor

The Gazette revealed this morning that the Coasters had identified the former Blackpool defender as their potential replacement for Dave Challinor, who was axed on Saturday.

However, Barrow have moved swiftly to confirm they have turned down the approach.

Barrow chairman Paul Hornby said: "We can confirm that over the weekend we received an approach from AFC Fylde for our manager Ian Evatt.

"The offer was rejected by the club and after speaking with Ian he is 100 per cent committed to Barrow.

"Ian is extremely loyal and honest and would like to put on record he had no interest in speaking with Fylde.

"Ian and his team have worked extremely hard over the last 15 months to get us in this position and in doing so has assembled a great group of players.

"He has the unequivocal support of the board and we all believe we can achieve great success this year.

"The numbers coming through the turnstiles has massively encouraged the club as a whole, so let’s now turn our attention to the FA Cup on Saturday and support our manager and his team."

The 37-year-old has won plenty of praise for his work at Barrow, who currently sit in fourth place in the National League table.

The Bluebirds, who are four points off leaders Halifax Town with a game in hand still to play, have won their last seven games on the spin.

The former Blackpool defender took over at Barrow in June 2018 and guided the club to a 10th-placed finish in his first season.

He had previously been appointed caretaker manager at former club Chesterfield after Jack Lester's departure.

Evatt is a highly ambitious manager who is understood to have registered his interest for the Blackpool job when it became vacant following Terry McPhillips' departure this summer.

The speculation comes after Challinor was relieved of his duties on Saturday, bringing an end to his eight-year tenure.

His sacking came in response to Fylde's four-game losing streak, which has seen the Coasters slip into the relegation zone of the National League - less than six months after they almost reached the Football League.