Often Partisan

GAMEDAY – Bolton at Home

Blues return to league action after a free weekend caused by Leeds’ continued participation in the FA Cup. Gary Rowett’s men will be hoping that they can return to winning ways to jump start their playoff hopes.


The Trotters lie in 23rd place on 25 points, only ahead of bottom club Charlton due to their vastly superior goal difference. They come into the game on the back of a disappointing 1-1 draw following Matt Phillips’ last gasp equaliser.

Ben Amos is a doubt having picked up a knock in that game while former Blues forward Emile Heskey misses out with a hip injury. Liam Trotter, David Wheater and Max Clayton are all out with hamstring problems.


James Vaughan and David Cotterill are both fully fit to face Bolton, while Charlee Adams and Viv Solomon-Otabor could also be in contention having missed Monday’s u21 game against Nottingham Forest. Nicolai Brock-Madsen however remains sidelined having now tweaked his quad.

This is the kind of game Blues must win if they are to mount a serious challenge for the top; while Bolton haven’t been in the worst form of late they have not won an away match since April 6.


Scott Duncan is in the middle for this game. He’s taken charge of 24 games so far this season, showing 60 yellow cards and two reds. The last game involving Blues he took charge of was the 1-1 draw with Leeds United in September 2014, when he booked Demarai Gray and Wes Thomas for Blues.

Suspension Watch

One red card (three match suspension served): James Vaughan

9 Yellow Cards: Maikel Kieftenbeld
8 Yellow Cards: Stephen Gleeson
5 Yellow Cards: Jonathan Grounds
4 Yellow Cards: David Davis, Jon Toral, Paul Robinson and Paul Caddis
3 Yellow Cards: David Cotterill, Michael Morrison and James Vaughan
2 Yellow Cards: Jonathan Spector  and Neal Eardley
1 Yellow Card: Tomasz Kuszczak, and Clayton Donaldson

The cutoff date for 5 yellow cards to attract a suspension is November 30, 2015
The cutoff date for 10 yellow cards to attract a suspension is March 13, 2016

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54 Responses to “GAMEDAY – Bolton at Home”

  • Jaffa says:

    Agree Dan. Our season starts now if we are to get into the playoff’s.

  • Blues have a 30 goal advantage over Bolton , we don’t want any excuses , any player that doesn’t feel dominant should be put onto blues ladies bench, no insult to blues ladies bench intended , no excuses here we want winners at this club not whooses ,we respect grafters , we have around 18 cup finals left , half of them are against clubs at the bottom of the championship not at the top of the prem , so let’s see how good you really are , No mercy…….KRO

  • Pods says:

    Morning All Blues Fans.

    Jaffa – spot on, we start tonight and must get 3 points. Other teams are starting to pull away.


  • DoctorD says:

    I’m always a massive pessimist. I can see the Bolton takeover putting a spring in the players’ step and us losing 2-1. You heard it here first.

  • Hillfield Blues says:

    A must win if we have any pretentions of the playoffs.This is now the business end of the season and time to hit some form.

  • .KC says:

    I know our home record is not good against lower teams but if we going to continue to achieve we must be positive going in to games. The Bham Mail in one of their player interviews this week have been incredibly negative. We must start from the kick off by going for the jugular. Vocal support will then be energised and Stans will be Rocking. Agree those that have shown they are not up for this type of game should not be out there. Come on Blues this should be one to enjoy ! KRO

  • edd77 says:

    Agree we need 3pts ,would take 4 points from next 2 games tho however they come

  • Zimblue says:

    DoctorD. “I’m always a massive pessimist” I’m glad you are not my GP.

  • Remind me not to visit you doctor D with a cough , it will only sound like cancer on coming out , come on blues ,,

  • Dave Mann says:

    15 cup finals left and I think 26 points to get to make the playoffs ( 74 should do it ) .. Yes our season for the push starts now and I agree with no excises at all for tonight’s game with a pretty full squad to choose from , no prediction on the score but just three points and a good performance will do . KRO

  • Lichblue says:

    I don’t care what the score is as long as we win. And then off to QPR with a massive away following as usual.

    Come on Blues!!!!!!!


  • Dave Mann says:

    Yes same here lichblue , win tonight sets our away day up very ncely . KRO

  • Pods says:

    Has anybody heard anything with regards to parking issues around the ground which may come into operation for next season.
    Birmingham city council are looking at residential parking permits.

  • StaffsBlue says:

    We should beat Bolton comfortably, but with our record against the bottom teams, I’m not wholly confident tbh. We need at least 4 points this week, with a tricky March to come.

  • Dave Mann says:

    4 points minimum from these two games staffs and that will keep us on coarse but knowing Blues it will be a draw at home and a win away but how it comes we really don’t care . KRO

    • StaffsBlue says:

      If we can’t win against the likes of Bolton, I’m wondering where those 26 points will come from tbh. If we don’t get on a bit of a run pretty sharpish, we’re going fall behind and run out of games.

  • Dave Mann says:

    That’s fair enough so 4 points from 2 games keeps us on coarse as we need just less than 30 from 15 so starting tonight we need to push on . KRO

    • StaffsBlue says:

      Just under 2 points a game. It’s a tough ask, but doable. If we get the 3 points tonight, we’ll be ahead. ;)

    • ChrisG says:

      I will be disappointed if we don’t get 6 points from tonite & saturday & i’d be happy with a point against Hull. I think it’s time Donaldson stepped up to the plate, as our sole striker his goal return is pathetic, I know people say about his work rate but i’d rather him do sod all all game but stick the ball in the back of the net, we have 5 midfielders to do the graft & i’d rather see him getting into a shooting position, if you don’t shoot you can’t score!!!KRO

  • Dave Mann says:

    I will second that . KRO

  • Make this one for FREDDIE GOODWIN blues , he who dares will have a GOODWIN ,

  • Mitchell says:

    GR will know exactly what team he needs to get the 3pts. Getting the win is an entirely different matter. Cotterill and Davis the men for me tonight with possibly Vaughan as the surprise package. Fabrini I feel will start at the expense of Gleeson. By pass the midfield and get the ball out to Maghoma and Cotts. Forget the 4-2-3-1 at home and go 4-4-2. Dedicate this formation to Freddie G. and accept a goal against in return for 3.

    • StaffsBlue says:

      I actually typed out a team and a formation for the Bolton game last week and thought it might get us on the front foot right from the start. 4-1-4-1, Kieftenbeld can play slightly more forward, but drop in alongside Davis when we’re not in possession.


      Caddis Morrison Shotton Grounds


      Cotterill Fabbrini Kieftenbeld Maghoma


      It gives us Caddis and Cotterill in tandem again. Ya never know, it might just work.

      • ChrisG says:

        I had a similar team but had Kieftenbeld in front of the back 4 & Torel alongside Fab, I think as well staffs that GR will favour Shotton over Caddis.

        • StaffsBlue says:

          I think we’d be way too lightweight with Toral and Fabbrini in the middle. I’d play one or t’other and, as we’ll probably need to break them down, maybe Fabbrini with a few tricks can unlock them… as long as he can stay on his feet.

          • Dave Mann says:

            Well our manager as said he’s been working on a system to accomodate both players so let’s wait and see . KRO

          • StaffsBlue says:

            That’s true. But they’ve apparently been working on a way to beat these bottom 3 teams all season. Still waiting.

  • Pods says:

    Great call Mitchell

  • Gabriel says:

    A bit nervous about tonight, not sure where the goals will come from. Bolton are one of the Championship’s highest scorers based on the last five games, they’ll be up for the fight.

  • Texas Pete says:

    GR says we are aiming for 72 – 78 points so thats is 2 points per game or a win/draw/win/draw scenario. Not much space for a loss and 72 points looks low to me. So the target is set for the attack to get goals.
    The next two games could determine where we finish. If we lose/lose we are out, but if we win/win we are in. I think the new attacking form will need some more refinement, but will come together.

    • StaffsBlue says:

      I agree. The four teams in the play-off spots at the moment are all capable of reaching 80 points, so we really do have our work cut out. We need a good winning run asap to stand a chance.

  • Bolton with two fast wingers might mean ours tracking back as cover , I think our threat will have to go through their weakest area the centrebacks to win …

  • StaffsBlue says:

    Fabbrini in for Toral. Rest of the team the same.

  • Tony says:

    That’s a big mistake Toral should always be the first name on the team sheet.

  • Lichblue says:

    That win will do nicely. Off to QPR to hopefully continue our great away form. Come on Blues. KRO.

  • AdamTrueBlue says:

    Before anyone says it, another win hitting above our weight, haha, lits if places for improvement but we deserved the win and a needed 3 points. Kro

  • Deserved to win , at a cost to the fans laundry bill , but hey we can beat the lower teams OK..

  • Mitchell says:

    Omens are good. Plenty of these 1-0 wins are on the cards now. Derby and Sheff.Wed. still the problem but they cannot feel comfortable with us.Only bit of a question mark about Buckley but better having him about than not.

  • Shirley Blue says:

    Truly awful at times but crucial three points with the other results. Same problems as at Rotherham – Shotton and Grounds as full backs are solid defensively but the trade off is they give us next to nothing going forward. With the two central midfielders sitting deep as well in the 4-2-3-1 it does make us one dimensional and predictable – no overlapping full backs and no runners from midfield. Cotterill should start ahead of Buckley at QPR.

  • ChrisG says:

    Scrappy win, but a wins a win, vital 3 points with sheff wed dropping 2 more points & cardiff losing we’re right back in the mix. I’ll be amazed if I don’t have a heart attack before the end of the season though!!!

  • .KC says:

    An awful wonderful win and 3 points. Started to type out my opinion on the negatives but want to stay positive, so have deleted a long.long list of criticisms. KRO

    • StaffsBlue says:

      I was thinking along similar lines, but then I thought, what the hell. At this stage of the season, it’s the points that count, however we manage to obtain them.

  • Bromsgrove Blue says:

    Very scrappy game tonight. The only positive was the win and the 3 points to keep us in the hunt for the playoffs. We need to improve our overall play the passing and the way we kept losing the ball was abysmal. Need to improve 100% or Hull will murder us Kro

  • StaffsBlue says:

    I’m just grateful that our defence are playing a blinder lately. It wasn’t a classic, but it’s another important 3 points in the bag.

  • StaffsBlue says:

    In the last 6 games, we’ve had 3 wins, 2 draws and 1 defeat. We’ve scored 8 and conceded just once. 11 points from 18 ain’t bad. As I said, the defence are getting us through these matches atm, 5 clean sheets in 6 games is excellent. So, it’s on to QPR with things ticking over nicely.

    • StaffsBlue says:

      * sorry, conceded twice.

    • David L says:

      11pts out of 18 works out at 75 points over the season – probably not quite enough to get to the playoffs but certainly evidence of a good season, and much better than many of us would have feared in August.

      But do we feel happy because it’s that much better, or sad at what might have been?

      • Steve-0 says:

        I’m inclined to agree that 75 points won’t be enough.

        We’d need 24 points from the last 14 games. (6/7 wins, 6/3 draws, and 2/4 losses) sounds pretty underwhelming to me.

        I think because we’re competing with a number of teams they won’t all slip up so we need to be the ones driving results and not hoping for other results. We’re going to need to win 8 of our last 14 and only lose 3 max. That will put us on 78.

  • Bluey says:

    If we`re being honest recent performances have been `scrappy` but that`s to be expected with a squad of honest triers and battlers that perhaps lacks quality in the main. I still can`t see us going up but a good 3 points nevertheless. KRO.

  • Steve-0 says:

    Although Rowett has done a great job here, turning us around last year and making us compete for the play-offs this season he’s still missing a real achievement. Getting into the Play-Offs will be something he can pin his hat on. He deserves it.

    Even if we have no hope of going up and even less of staying up if we do I want us to qualify for Rowett. I want him to get something back from the sterling work he’s done, some tangible reward.

    Qualifying would do that. And if he can lead us out at Wembley that will be fantastic for the man.

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