Bolton suffered a sixth successive away defeat yesterday as they went down 2-0 at Bramall Lane to Sheffield United.
Wanderers didn’t do too badly in the first half, but to the surprise of absolutely nobody, there was a familiar lack of incision going forward. But the same could be said of the opposition – we gave Callum Connolly a debut in midfield alongside Luca Connell, while Jason Lowe and Gary O’Neil were the players down the right hand side. We seemed largely solid at the back and manage to stifle the often attacking Blades, the first half not seeing a single shot on target from either side.
But the hosts seemed to get better as the half progressed, and it wasn’t bad news when the half time whistle came. Shortly after Wanderers came out with a little bit of intent, but a tame Clayton Donaldson header at the far post was held by Dean Henderson and that was as good as it got.
Not long after, Billy Sharp got away, left Jack Hobbs on the floor, and there may have been a foul or even an offside in there, but in any case David McGoldrick was picked out and we were behind. Sharp, ever the nuisance against us, managed to get on the scoresheet himself with a free header, and if one goal is often enough to beat us, then a second certainly was.
Some cheer came after the game when the news of a potential takeover surfaced – we can only be truly confident of it once it has happened because there has been noise about one before, but if it did, that could mean the end of the road for Phil Parkinson, with any new regime probably wanting their own man. Putting some jigsaw pieces together would suggest Mark Warburton could come in if that happened. Would he able to save this season? Probably not. He would give youth a chance (like Parkinson has done in the last month, let’s be fair) and his managerial career would suggest he would try to be more offensive, two aspects which would go down well with fans, but it’s a tough ask for any manager, current or future.