After Saturday`s non-performance Bolton have a chance to put things right against Bristol Rovers in a midweek game under the Macron lights.
The weekend result was a blow, but automatic promotion is in our own hands, we just need to start playing well more often than not. The Gasheads are having a decent first season back in the third tier, and a win for them would see them potentially go within three points of a playoff spot. It`s the type of game where Wanderers have come unstuck this season, so the players can`t turn up demanding the three points are handed to them on a plate.
“It`s no use sulking because we have got to get some key players back out there on the training pitch and ready for the Bristol Rovers game.”
Parkinson in the Bolton News
Bolton Wanderers Team News:
Jay Spearing should go back into the side after completing his two-game ban. Andy Taylor is fit again, while Gary Madine is either well again after his virus, or any issues have been resolved. Reece Wabara and Chris Long were also in for extra training according to Marc Iles on Sunday, whether that is a recovery-based thing or a plan to use them is another debate. Tom Thorpe was suffering ‘whiplash` after being hurt by John Fleck on Saturday, but hasn`t been ruled out.
Player to watch: Jay Spearing
Jay Spearing`s inclusion could be a help. Our midfield hasn`t been great in recent games, even when Spearing has played that has been the case, but it`s another key player back in there. If Spearing starts, it could allow us to push Josh Vela forward and let him get his mojo back, because he hasn`t had a great last few games,
Bristol Rovers Team News:
Goalkeeper Will Puddy has left to join Sutton on loan. Not sure why they need another keeper?but apart from that I can`t find any team news yet.
Player to watch: Ollie Clarke
Ollie Clarke was probably Rovers` best player in their 1-1 draw with Scunthorpe at the weekend, scoring the opening the goal and having a few chances blocked and saved on top of that. Mainly a central midfielder, but can play wider too, he has been at Rovers all his career bar a few loan spells to various South West non-league sides,
Match Facts & Stats
Bolton have kept just one clean sheet in the league in 2017, at home to Rochdale a fortnight ago, but have only failed to score in one league game, guess when that was?
Wanderers have won two, drawn two and lost two of their last six games, a total of eight points. Rovers have drawn their last five, all 1-1 or 1-0 since beating Swindon on 28th January. Their last defeat was a week before that, 3-1 at Walsall.
Bolton won the reverse fixture 2-1 back in August. Spearing and Vela scored in the first half, before Ellis Harrison`s second half strike ensured a nervous finish as we went top of an early league table.
This could be a bit optimistic, but I`m going to go 3-1 to Bolton. Our home form has largely been good so we`ll hopefully do enough to end the Bristolians` unbeaten run.
We`re at home again this weekend as Wimbledon visit, before a trip up to Fleetwood a week later.