Often Partisan

Bolton Preview in Association with EZE Group

Gary Rowett takes his players north to the Macron Stadium for the final game of the Championship campaign today. Over 3,600 Blues fans travel with them in a celebratory mood in direct contrast to the despair of this time last year.

Bolton Wanderers

Neil Lennon’s men lie in 18th place, seven places and nine points behind Blues. They are far enough ahead of Reading in 19th to know that they won’t drop any further regardless of a result while a win could see them push into 16th. They haven’t won in four games and won only one in eight; at home their record is also poor with just one win in five games.

Dorian Dervite is suspended while Matt Mills and Max Clayton are both carrying ankle knocks. Loanee Adam Le Fondre could make his final appearance for the Trotters.


Rob Kiernan misses out through injury while the first team players from Thursday (Mitch Hancox, Nikola Zigic, Matt Green and Reece Brown) definitely won’t travel.

I wouldn’t be surprised to see some changes and some experimentation; I have a suspicion that Paul Robinson could come in against his former club as a swansong at the back (maybe in a back three) with Wes Thomas maybe joining Clayton Donaldson up front.


Strange things happen on the last game of the season, and I’m going to go for Robert Tesche (who has looked dangerous in front of goal of late) to score two or more at 66-1.

Match previews sponsored by EZE Group - Lifestyle Experts

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33 Responses to “Bolton Preview in Association with EZE Group”

  • DoctorD says:

    I’m going to have weird flashbacks all afternoon to this day last year. Would be great to go out in style with a big win, but i’m not expecting it.

  • Fair Dinkum says:

    Dan, this is my first time commenting on OP and as it is almost season end I would like to thank you for your tireless work and commitment in keeping all us Bluenoses well informed. Whenever I want to find real news on Blues I first go to OP because it is very often first with the news, concise, accurate, informative more than any other media and it is composed by you who has a great understanding of the important issues. Your interpretation of events is first class as is shown in your excellent book, a great read. I think it would make a great film, have you secured the rights yet?
    Please, I beg you, write about the news of a takeover very soon! We just can not go through another season with a feeling of helplessness.
    I think we will beat Bolton today, I think the lads are up for it while Bolton look a sorry side at present.
    Thanks Dan and please keep up the very good work.

  • Tony says:

    Looks like your on the money Dan, Tesche has got one already.

  • Shirley Blue says:

    Another great win. To finish tenth is a fantastic achievement from where we were. What might have been if GR had been in from the start rather than wasting the first 14 games of the season.

  • Oldbluenose says:

    At the start of this season, Who would have thought we would finish in tenth place,??.

    Our perennial question was answered — Being of course, How would L,C’s, players fare under a different manager,!!.

  • Tony says:

    Well riots at Bloomfield road, What would Mathews, Mortenron have thought.?

  • Shirley Blue says:

    The Oyston’s as owners and LC as manager. Hardly surprising there are riots. What a terrible combination.

  • Eric says:

    A real thank you Dan for your hard work keeping us Bluenoses well informed. You deserve a lot of credit and I look forward one day to an update on your book when the owners change hands!!!

  • Eric says:

    PS If you are ever in Victoria Canada bring a book and I will pay for it. As an old age pensioner I refuse to pay the shipping charge (I got screwed once by buying something from the Blues store). Failing that I will buy book next season when I come over for a few games…

  • AussieBlue says:

    Great result again and an honourable 10th place finish! Looks like as many fans as possible made the trip….would have loved to have been there.

    Thanks goodness we won’t have to tolerate Blackpool idiot fans next season.

    Cheers all and have a great off-season. I expect there will be news on the BIHL front though.

  • SuperKRO says:

    A massive thank you Dan for keeping us all up to date with everything blue at Birmingham City. I hope the club award you in some way for the time and effort you put into this website. In regards to the footy, who would have thought 10th is where we would have ended up. Credit to LCs scouts as they brought these players which GR galvanised into a very promising and enjoyable side; next season looks exciting. KRO and fingers crossed for good news from HK.

  • Raymondo says:

    Thanks for a great service almajir, I hope you’ll keep us informed on any important happenenings during the close season. KRO and Up The Blues!

    • AussieBlue says:

      I’ll second that Raymondo. Dan’s done a marvelous job during difficult times so he can be forgiven for getting cranky sometimes.

      (PS: AussieSheila’s heading over to UK for summer…I have given her your contact details. No problemo amigo…anything to help a mate and fellow Blues fan!)

  • Mitchell says:

    Good win in final game which makes impressive reading for GR CV. My only advice I would give him is this.. Consider not signing Kiernan, but keep Edgar. Next season we need to be stronger at the back and to me Edgar is far more superior to Kiernan. Caddis ok,but needs serious competition. Morrison, Edgar, Spector decent enough,with Gunning in the wings. Key player Tesche I suspect will start for Forest next term in view of his class. Gleeson and Davis decent but not capable of securing a regular top 6 place in the league. Depending on finances, I would imagine GR will make midfield a priority with a bit of physical presence about the place. Give Charlie Adam( Stoke) a 2 year deal. He would be a good asset and just the elder type that would fit nicely with GR.

    • Hillfield Blues says:

      Agree on Edgar and don’t know why he was loaned out anyway. Gleeson and Davis are steady players in this league but Teache and Fabrini are a step up and emphasis has to be on keeping them for next season if we are to improve. A more consistent right sided midfielder than Cotrill would be an area to look at.

  • Shirley Blue says:

    I would prefer Kiernan to Edgar. Kiernan is young and quick and will get better and potentially a good partner for Morrison. Edgar lacks pace and can be clumsy. I think the fact that GR sent Edgar out on a non recall loan suggests how highly he rates him and I would think he will be at another club next season. I havnt seen Gavin Gunning play yet so will reserve judgement until I do. I was a bit surprised Robbo got another contract. He can’t get into the side now and the chances of that are not going to improve with age.

    • StaffsBlue says:

      Apparently, Edgar was allowed to go out on loan because he insists that he prefers to play holding midfielder rather than centre back. No point playing a player in a position he’s not happy with I suppose… although, he’s not much cop in midfield tbh. So, the either or with Kiernan doesn’t really matter. I’d prefer Kiernan anyway. Expect Edgar to be on his bike this summer.

  • Dave Mann says:

    Great day out yesterday and again the blues fans did us proud and again Bolton were very appreciative so fair play to them .. Should have won by more but to finish the season with three wins and three clean sheets and 8 games unbeaten at home is brilliant going into the summer and the start of next season.. We all hope there’s change in ownership before next season but ime not counting on it but keep what we’ve got including the loans in the first team and add 4or5 better players than the ones were be shipping out and I for one will be looking to push on next season and maybe push for the playoffs .. The next three months without blues games for me is gonna be a bit boring but there is the friendlies with Kidderminster and Bolton to look forward to so it’s onwards and upwards and all enjoy your summer. Lol & kro & dnm

  • Richard Granfield says:

    If Gary had been manager from the start of the season we would, extrapolating the results from the last 32 games, have finished 9th instead of 10th on 75 points.
    This confirms that we need to add 5 or 6 quality players to mount a viable promotion push next season.

    • StaffsBlue says:

      I get your point, but it’s just supposition. Rowett has done marvellously well since he took over, but there’s no proof that he would have started the season any better with these players. We could easily have had a similar start to the season whoever the manager was at the start. I think most of these players have grown into the division as the season has gone on, which was always going to be the case, with a lot of them coming from lower divisions. Maybe we wouldn’t have done so well with the previous manager (I personally don’t think we would) or maybe we would. But it’s not a fact that we would have done better with Rowett at the start, just opinion based on the games since. :)

      • Shirley Blue says:

        We might not have got 22 points from the first 14 games but all the evidence from the last 32 games indicates we would have done a lot better than 11 points and being second bottom. 32 games is not a flash in the pan – we have been very consistent. I hope Tesche hasn’t done a little bit too well and come to the attention of other clubs or Forest themselves. Certainly the best central midfield player we have had at the club since we got relegated.

        • StaffsBlue says:

          Unfortunately, if they do well, it’s a double-edged sword where loan players are concerned. If they do well, either their parent club re-integrate them back into their squad (which is very likely with Tesche,) or they put themselves in the shop window and the attention of clubs with higher wages than us.

          For me, Tesche will be the hardest to get, but having enjoyed his time here, you never know, it could just put us in the driving seat. Fingers crossed.

  • Dave Mann says:

    Rowetts taken 52 points from 32 games that’s fact.. If you say that In those 14 games before he would have taken 22 points is a guess and what could have been with 74 points ..so lets see what he gets from the first 14 games of next season and then we can all get exited if he gets around 22/23 points so bring it on . Kro

    • StaffsBlue says:

      He may well have had an excellent start to the season if he’d been here… but the players were adjusting to the higher level, so, in my opinion, the start of the season would still have been very up and down. I think most of us expected that period of adjusment tbh.

  • Dave Mann says:

    Exactly staffs, we can all guess and say IF rowett was manager from the start then things could have been dlfferent but I don’t think so and were never no so guessing from the start is all speculation , we finished above forest so as you say there propably want Tesche back but fabbrini with Watford being promoted is a definete chance to keep in .. As you rightly say mate there’s a difference between fact and opinion though some people seem to not no why !! Kro

  • Dave Mann says:

    Congrats to Carl Robinson and mk dons for promotion .. That means I will be going there twice next season in the championship and the rugby World Cup , lovely jubbly . Kro

    • Gavin Betteley says:

      Second that on mk dons living 5 miles from there ground I’ve been waiting for this fixture for a while now. And.a.massive.well done to GR and the team for giving me a team I can be proud of again.

  • Mitchell says:

    Forest website reveal Tesche to be given another year contract. Integral to their plans. As previously reported always a double edge this. Do well and parent club want you back. Nevertheless, likes of him have prevented us playing Port Vale,Walsall etc,

    • BhamCityJulian says:

      That’s to protect the value of hid registration. It doesn’t mean he’s in their plans. Just means they choose the fee to sell

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