Often Partisan

Taking on the Trotters: Bolton Preview

Dougie Freedman brings his Bolton side to a resurgent St Andrews where Lee Clark’s men have won three times on the spin, scoring eleven goals in the process in the final Championship match before the October international break.

Bolton Wanderers

The Trotters have had an absolutely abysmal start to the season, failing to win in their first ten games in a run that is the worst start to a season in over 100 years. They lie 23rd on goal difference having failed to win this season with Blackpool being the first team this season to fail to register a goal against Bolton at home. Indeed, the Trotters have taken just seven points from their last twelve Championship matches stretching back to last season.

However, Bolton will be boosted by the return of Craig Davies, who will have fond memories of St Andrews having scored four times there in Barnsley’s 5-0 demolition of Blues last season. However, Davies is only tipped to start on the bench with Jermaine Beckford and David Ngog likely to get the nod up front. Marc Tierney will definitely miss out whilst former Blues midfielder Neil Danns could feature.


Lee Clark has no new injury worries, although Wade Elliott will miss this game too having picked up a calf knock. However both Hayden Mullins and Lee Novak are back to fitness although I can barely see either making the bench at present such is the vein of form the current side is in.

Clark will have to decide whether to return to the 3-4-3 that beat Sheffield Wednesday and Swansea or retain the 4-2-3-1 which comfortably saw off Millwall. Should he revert to the 3-4-3 the only change I can see is Andy Shinnie dropping out with Paul Caddis fitting in on the right side of midfield instead.

Everything says that this should be a win for Blues but I have to admit I can see a potential banana skin. Blues will need to maintain their excellent tempo and attitude that has seen them boss midfield battles and create chances for the front line and not allow complacency to slip back in. A win against the Trotters would see Blues go into the break on 13 points and feeling a little more secure in midtable – which would be a good position bearing in mind the doom and gloom we felt back in September.

The match kicks off at 12:15 and is live on Sky Sports.

Match previews sponsored by EZE Group - Lifestyle Experts

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72 Responses to “Taking on the Trotters: Bolton Preview”

  • maurice walters from thailand says:

    Realy excited about todays game will be able watch on tv in Thailand first time for years i can watch my beloved blues dont let me down boys KRO 3-0 will make my day

  • mark says:

    Blues need this one, we on roll, lingard to continue being on a roll, he will destroy bolton. We will win 2-0 or 5-0………..imo kro

  • sutton apex says:

    boring bolton i fear will come and defend – 1-1 draw, jesse to score

  • BigmanSteve0 says:

    3-1 blues

  • TonyE says:

    Davies, if he comes on, wont find it so easy this time, he will not be faced by Ibanez and Caldwell who were awful in that game last season (Curtis D being unavailable).

  • parchy99 says:

    I just hope that if we draw or lose, that people don’t start getting unrealistic about our team.

    A battling, hearty performance is what we need.

    Our wingers are the key for me today. A good performance from Burke and Lingaard and I think they will have their defence pulled all over the park. They have conceded 6 goals in their last 3 games and have serious question marks over their ability to defend.

    Scream, shout, let the world know that PP and CY are “creative” with their own personal “me time”, stick by the boys and all will be well.


  • DoctorD says:

    This has draw written all over it: 1-1. Burke and Ngog.

  • Tony says:

    Bolton are much better than their position suggests they have some very decent players, could well be a suprise result.
    Need to watch the set pieces otherwise 1-2.

  • StaffsBlue says:

    Bolton played 4-5-1/4-2-3-1 in their 0-0 away to Blackpool, so I can’t see them changing too much against us. I think the 4-2-3-1 from Tuesday should serve us well. Our centre midfield need to be strong against Spearing and Pratley and we need to be alert on the flanks, with possibly Feeney and Danns out wide for them. Other than that, I can’t see a problem. I’ll go 3-1 to Blues.

    (if we win by 3 clear goals, we’ll move up to 12th, at least until the other teams play.)

  • chas says:

    Well , it may be wise to leave OP till tomorrow , cos it will go into meltdown after that .

  • Art Watson says:

    Apart from Burke and Lingard the rest of the team were awful.


    I admire your blind passion but that’s what it is Blind Passion.lol

    • StaffsBlue says:

      We’ll see Art, we’ll see. :)

      • Art Watson says:


        I did see -I watched a team who were void of any quality and a team that delivered yet another inconsistent performance under Clark .

        Same as last year!

      • steve says:

        we’ve seen

        • Pete says:

          Art they are a young side. It ies with the territory that they will not always be on the money. That said there are few who can always give the same performance day in day out, with you being the exception with your waiting to criticise the manager. Tell me would you have changed the formation after midweek? Would you have thought Ramdolph would give them a goal? Would you have thought we would let in 2 goals from 3 shots all game?

          I am still awaiting your response as to whom you want to do the Blues job that you think would come under these circumstances? That response never materialised.

          • steve says:

            Sorry mate never saw your question. I’ve already said i wouldn’t have changed anything from Tuesday.I,ve also stuck up for Burn and Randolph.As for Clark’s replacement,i know we can’t afford to get rid.That doesn’t change what i think about him .Zigic should have come on at half time.Fergie should have come on as a straight swap for Murph.Even Robinson berated him for tat change.

          • Pete says:

            Please note question was given to Art.

  • AuldBertie says:

    Nowhere near as good as previous three home games but ultimately undone by two howlers from two of our best players this season. Although Burn was calpable for the first it still was the type of effort Randolph has been saving all season. Lucky to get away with Beckford hitting the bar but looked like another cast iron penalty turned down by another shocking referee who made a string of awful decisions mainly against Blues but also a few against Bolton. Probably deserved a point but not to be today.

  • mike b says:

    hi all……….just back from the match…cor i bet sky wished they had not picked that one!!!!very very poor…..burke yes he had a lot of the ball but he made a lot of errors with it…..the manager was at fault (sorry folks)…..ziggy if not on from the start certainly he should have from half time….and not putting ferguson at the same time!!!!
    crazy in my book…………

    • Pete says:

      I would have put Feguson on too. But I do not get some fans, he gets criticised for swapping and changing the team. He shows 15 minutes loyalty with the side that won in the way they did on Tuesday, and he is the reason we lost…. not Randolph or Burn or the endless misplaced passes- but it is the manager for not making a sub 15 minutes earlier???

      By the way Randolph and Burn have been magnificant all season, so I am in no hurry to slag them off either.

  • BhamCityJulian says:

    Too many below par. Was the pre-match preparation right for an earlier kick off?

  • StevieW says:

    Thats the team response to Pannu`s statement

  • Dave S says:

    oh dear, You just knew it didn’t you, Bolton hadn’t won all season, Beckford hadn’t scored, and have a former blues player on loan, need I say more?
    Infuriatingly inconsistent, made my weekend.
    Thanks lads.

  • StaffsBlue says:

    Same team as Tuesday, but just didn’t click anywhere on the pitch. Full backs were beaten constantly and allowed crosses at will. Centre backs looked nervy. Centre midfield didn’t play together, leaving gaping holes (think the knock affected Adeyemi.) Up front, they did their best with nothing really to feed off. Maybe Randolph is a bit too sure of his place? But, we’re going to have these kind of slip ups. Two steps forward, three steps back.

    • steve says:

      You never answer this question Staffs. Do you go to the games?Imo i don’t think we played that badly.We lost the game because of 2 individual mistakes from 2 players who have been rock steady for the majority of the season.How the f*ck can you question Darren Randolph?Lee Clark has to take the blame for this result.I wouldn’t have changed anything from Tuesday.But to put Caddis on was a big mistake.Straight swap imo was Fergie for Murph.Even Robbo went off at Cack for that change.He was livid.

      Comment edited – use asterisks appropriately

  • steve says:

    Dan,why are my posts in mod ?

  • Sh*t on the villa says:

    Didnt think we played too bad (maybe i was delirious after a 14hour nightshift and long drive to brum) ¬¬

    2mistakes cost us the game but i was more annoyed about sitting next to the most negative arseholes iv ever met then the burn and randolph poor decisions.

    Ref was terrible.

    • steve says:

      The ref was shocking.Even a Viler text me to say it was a pen in the 2nd half. They say decisions even themselves out.That’s no comfort when you’re on the end of a bad one.

      • Pete says:

        Steve- I agree with your points, but to be fair – it was never a penalty against Millwall. Perhaps it just shows sometimes we need to grab the luck when it is around.

        • steve says:

          Fair comment Pete.At the time i thought it was a pen against Millwall.It was only when i saw it on the box i realised it wasn’t.Like any fan when it goes for us i don’t mind,when it doesn’t i hate it.

  • Tony says:

    Look above I predicted the score simple really although Bolton havnt won in 10 games they are a far better side than us man for man they have more quality.
    How does a 6 5 centre back get beaten over his head by a bounce of the ball? why did he let it bounce in the first place first first thing you are taught as a centre back is not to let it bounce.
    Burke was far and away the best player for us but there was no one in the midddle for his crosses, Green was annonymous as was Adeyemi he may have energy but he needs a lot more than that.Reilley still has some way to go yet
    Ferguson is one of the very few players we have with quality why did Clark not put him on earlier?
    Zigic should have started if fit what earthly good is Green? hes another runner.
    The distribution was disgusting, the defence was all over the place it was rubbish.midfield where were they?
    I even found the singing of KRO Embarrassing it was as if being rendered by a few people stupified into some kind of liquid induced coma

    • almajir says:

      Christ almighty Tony, are you ever happy about anything?

      • Art Watson says:


        Tony has made some very valid points which I also agree with.

        Bolton were bottom of the league and typically we did not turn up during the first half.This is a trade mark of Clarks management and frankly Blues looked clueless.

        I don’t think Tony is being negative more like telling it as it was.

        • almajir says:

          That doesn’t surprise me Art.

          It wasn’t as bad as either of you made out. Two individual errors cost us; yes there were some below par performances but Bolton were no great shakes either and on another day we’d have won that. Denied a clear pen by the ref, who probably should have sent off Mills too – fine lines mate.

          • Art Watson says:

            Fine lines yes- Bolton hit the bar and we were at home playing a a team who had not won a game yet this season.

            These are the games we need to win in order to survive this season-if you are happy with this that’s fine-it’s all about personal opinion Dan,Tony and I have one.

            The longer this club continues to employ Clark the more precarious our position becomes and again this is not a personal attack on Clark as his record especially at home speaks for its self Dan

          • almajir says:

            Give it a rest Art, you didn’t see the previous three home games – we were pretty damn good during those.

            If all you can focus on is the negatives, and all you focus on is your hatred of Clark you’ll never see the positives – and that is no way to be a fan. Relax, look for the good stuff – honestly, you’ll feel better for it.

    • steve says:

      Was you there today Tone?I just think Burn didn’t realise Beckford was so tight to him.It went past him at chest height.He must have thought he could let him pass him then play it back to the keeper.As for Randolph’s error,9 times out of 10 he would have deal’t with it. How many times has he been voted M O M ?

  • Tony says:

    not on this occasion Dan be interesting to hear your thoughts

  • Tony says:

    Beckford is very quick Steve dont trust a bounce get it in row z

  • Art Watson says:


    With respect you are assuming I hate Clark.

    It’s the wrong assumption!

  • Pete says:

    There are interesting points of view on here. So I will speak mine. Art and Tony talk out of their backsides and just look forward to having a snipe at the team. More effective for the club would be if they would go a support Villa, as taking delight in slagging the team off is no help. I have heard rubbish on here to explain a performance where it was simply a loss down to a couple of errors and players not quite able to find the right ball….

    I took my first son to his first game today. He is 5 and he said he wants to go again and help us win next time. Shame he is more of a fan after one game and 5 years of age than some….

    • steve says:

      Good for him Pete.They’re the future of our club.

    • Art Watson says:


      Please examine Clarks record since joining the club and then tell me I’m talking out of my backside .I think your comments are embarrassing.

      Glad your son enjoyed his first game as I did 50 odd years ago.

      • pete says:

        I find your support embarrassing. I could not care less what you think, as all you can do is slag of the side. I agree lee Clark does not have a great win ratio, but do you not take resources into account? I truly think you are a shameful excuse for a fan, who thinks because he a old and one step nearer to death it means he is a true fan.

  • Tony says:

    The game is all about opinions I cant agree with Dan, todays performance was abysmal we were disjointed Bolton were more fluid although their passing was as bad as ours Myself and Art are of the opinion Clark is not doing a good job we are entitled to feel that way.
    Clark spent the best part of a year trying to get Caddis then doesnt play him why? hes the best right back we have, same with ferguson a star last season on the bench this season.
    Have been bombarded with quotes from Clark again today well Im not interested if its his wedding anniversary or his mothers birthay, or how many times ardilles kicked him up the backside or his philosophy om dealing with the youngsters.
    My advice to him is this, pick your best players then fit them into a system not the other way around.

    • Pete says:

      So you would have dropped Spector after Tuesday Tony?

    • steve says:

      Tony,i don.t think we were that bad today we were undone by mistakes by two of our most reliable players.I,m with you on Clark,i don,t like him.We’re a club with little money,but he wasted the money he’s been given.Ambrose,Mullins,ansd Caddis.Caddis is a decent player,but imo we didn’t need another defender.That money could have been spent on a striker or attacking MidfielderEven if it was a loan player.

      • Pete says:

        Steve I find your comments so much less negative, even when being critical. But whilst I get your point, can you name a manager who has not made some bad signings? The so called ‘greatest’ Ferguson paid huge wedge for Djemba Djema, Veron, etc.Also, Barry Fry made some great signings but was also someone who signed some right ruubbish. Clark brought in Caddis who has to come into form, Randolph who has been superb, etc. Are you really nailing him for some dud signings?

        • steve says:

          Randolph was a free Pete.I admit,i thought Ambrose and Mullins were decent signings at the time.But when we signed Caddis we were really struggling for goals and i think the money would have been better spent on a creative midfielder or a striker,Even if it was a loan. I just don,t like clark.He doesn’t inspire me to think things will be ok.I think he tampers too much.I don,t think he knows his best team or formation.And that must affect the players when their manager doesn’t seem certain of what he,s doing.

  • Tony says:

    Pete who are you to doubt our loyalty? when you have been going down there for over 50 years as I have, and seen what I have seen then maybe just maybe I will take note of your rambligs until such time go and play with your sons building blocks Im sure you will find that more fullfilling.

    • Pete says:

      No Tony, I will go down and support the team. You should give it a go, you might actually enjoy it. Going for 50 years eh? Were you a miserable **** for all that time?

      The word fan means give fanatical support, so I am not questioning your loyalty I am saying a FAN gives FANATICAL SUPPORT, so you ain’t one.

      • chas says:

        Chill Lads , lets not get too personal.If any of you want to take your frustrations out on anything, come over to min e tomorrow and fix my Windscreen washer Pump for me , use up all your extra energy .(you will even get a cup of tea)

  • Tony says:

    Blind loyalty Pete?

  • BigmanSteve0 says:

    Almajir, question for you! If someone other than a Far East crew buy bcfc could/would this make you&your site redundant because you are the only blues fan info medium in hong kong. Or would you pick up sticks & move to where the new owners are based & carry on doing what your doing…?
    Remember this …..in the land of the blind the man with 1 eye is king

  • Enckelman says:

    Game could of gone either way, two individual errors cost us in which I feel the game deserved to be a draw. Hope to see Zigic start from now on as he will always be a threat with a great crosser of the ball like murphy.

  • Chris W says:

    BCFC should never play an early kick off again. We never got started.
    Bolton hustled and bullied in the same way we did to Swansea, we beat ourselves with two uncharacteristic errors.
    Several players had an off day, but Burn and Randolph, who have normally been so solid, slipped up and cost us two goals and we missed wade Elliott too.
    It is wrong to blame just two players, today was a shocker all round, and not just the players, where was the crowd, the stage was set, live TV, world audience, and…. Zilch, Zero, Nothing.
    So much for the passionate support to show potential buyers who and what we are about.
    So before all the anti Lee Clark brigade get their soap boxes out, every single supporter who went or stayed away should look in the mirror…
    Following three great results and some decent football along with 11 goals we were undone by a mediocre team in the same manner, we undid Millwall who were also three games unbeaten.
    We now have an international break to refresh and hit the road again at Leeds and Derby before we entertain Stoke at HOME, let us see and hear some support for the “Boys in Royal Blue”

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