Day eighty four. Dear diary. I find myself with a sudden sense of optimism. Things seemed to go well on Saturday and a number of factors played a part in that. Our new leader seemed to have a semblance of idea of what to do to change the outcome and it seems we made the right choice when we left our former leader at the frozen tundra known as Millwall.
The looks on the mens faces seemed to convey that they now had an idea what path we need to take to reach our goal. As I sit here in my tent, my hands shaking, I feel that for the first time they are shaking more with hope than with fear. But it may be the bitter cold of November in Bolton.
The new lieutenant seems to have a wise head on his shoulders. But, then again, all the old lieutenant did was agree with our former leader so he was bound to be a refreshing change. We still have the old warhorse leading the pack. Some want him put down. However, I still feel he could do a job for us. There are some young ones asking for a chance, but all they seem to do is fall over when given too much to do. Sometimes, the old reliables are the best, even if they don’t make it to journey’s end.
I do fear that we may have fallen too far behind the Welsh already and, if that is the case, whoever finds this missive, tell my wife I love her. But, whilst we have hope, we can still find a way.
Now, I’m just going outside. I may be some time. I’ve drunk a bit too much water and the latrine is three hundred yards away.
‘You have to be organised in this division because you don`t have a lot of time to prepare for a game so quickly on a Tuesday. We have to forget about the Cardiff game quickly and only have a day or so to prepare for Leicester. It does come thick and fast and takes a lot out of you both physically and mentally. The players have to understand I will be changing teams and tactics from game to game. I am not interested in previous results. I am only interested in winning the next game. If that means I have to change certain players then I will.‘ I really have nothing to say to that. Make up your own minds on the virtues of playing a team to play the opposition, rather than ourselves.
Bolton Wanderers Team News:
After a cameo of heroic proportions against Cardiff, David N’Gog sits out this one due to his second yellow on Saturday. Other than that, it is just the long termers.
Player to watch: Adam Bogdan
Whilst adding saving shots with his face to his repertoire on Saturday evening, it cannot have escaped anyone’s attention that the player of the year has had a jittery start to his campaign and his punching of the ball when having no one near him at the weekend set some hearts fluttering. With a defence in front of him that, despite a good showing on Saturday, you still wouldn’t trust to defend the bleeding obvious, Bogdan needs to rediscover what made us vote for him. Otherwise, with Rob Lainton on the comeback trail, he may soon find his place under pressure.
Leicester City Team News:
Two successive defeats have seen Leicester fall to fourth place in the table so manager Nigel Pearson may look to shake things up a bit. Zak Whitbread will be missing after seeing red on Saturday at Watford.
Player to watch: David Nugent
A dangerous player at this level who never reached the heights that many thought he would after scoring for England in his one and only game for the national side. Has scored six times this season and, with our defence, you wouldn’t bet on him not making it seven.
Match Facts & Stats
The clubs have met sixty times in the league since the first meeting at Burnden Park in 1899, when Bolton and Leicester Fosse shared four goals. Since then we hold a tight 23-19 lead. At Burnden/Reebok it extends to 17-6. This includes the 2-2 in 2001 when Bolton had two men sent off, Leicester one, and Robbie Savage was a dick of the highest order. Which, for Robbie Savage, took some doing.
Bolton’s leading scorer in the fixture is a new name to this feature. Harold Blackmore, for it is he, scored nine times against Leicester between 1927 and 1931, pretty much scoring every time the teams met. He even scored a tenth in an FA Cup tie. In the second tier two players scored three times. Sam Marsh, between 1903 and 1904 and Billy Hughes with a hat trick in 1910.
The last time the two teams met in the league was in 2004, Ian Walker scoring an own goal for us in a 1-1 draw at the Walkers Stadium.
If it’s midweek, then it’s a Premier League referee. Martin Atkinson is always pretty reliable (if any referee can be called that). He has, so far, given thirty two yellows and one red, to Newcastle’s Tiote, this season in the league.
The last Bolton match he officiated at was the 2-1 win over QPR when QPR scored a goal so legitimate, even Mrs X Snr said it was in. Let’s hope for a bit more of that excellent officiating tonight.
Al said 2-2 for the Cardiff gain, but I was always going for 2-1. And, hey, whaddya know. Since I changed to 2-1 I’m in profit for the season. So, 2-1 again, hey?
A trip to managerless, at the moment, Blackpool on Saturday.