Plotting our next season
Serious injuries to Zach Clough, David Wheater and Kevin McNaughton represent serious loss for an already injury-depleted team. It was thought that after several deadline day signings, and a few players back from injury that we would be able to kick on in January. However, this was not the case.
It seemed as tough whenever we got one back, someone else would just take that player`s position in the physio room. The new signings in January have been cases of ‘hits and misses`. The likes of Barry Bannan, Saidy Janko and Adam Le Fondre have so far impressed for Bolton. However, loanees from Portugal: Rochinha and Simeon Slavchev have failed to make an impact. Whether it`s a lack of understanding of the English game, a lack of physicality or the lack of room in a matchday squad for loanees. It just hasn`t really worked out.
Our most recent injuries mean that we`ve had to look back into the loan market to bring in the likes of Giles Coke and Paddy McCarthy who both impressed on their debuts at Blackburn, despite us conceding yet another late goal to lose the game.
Neil Lennon is one of many who accept how poor this is and how much we need it all to change now. He`s put it down to poor mentality- be it panicking or trying to be too clever in our own half. Whatever it is, it must stop. It`s killed our hopes of a top half finish and it is keeping us in touch of a potential relegation dogfight.
In Paddy McCarthy we have a no-nonsense centre back who is perfect for this level. The form of Dervite and Mills of late has been sporadic, meanwhile Wheater drifts in and out of injury like he doers with form. McCarthy is definitely a solid signing in my opinion, though it is still very early days.
In Coke we have a player who`s decent for this level- he`s not going to change the word from central midfield but he`s competent at this level.
To me, the signings of Coke and McCarthy lack inspiration and are very ‘Dougie Freedman-esque`. However, maybe that`s what we need to keep us comfortably up this year and when they, along with some other players, leave in the summer, Neil Lennon can create his own squad that can push for promotion.