Tomorrow Bolton Wanderers bring down the home curtain of a horrible, horrible season as they host Hull City in the televised lunchtime kickoff.
This could have meant something for the visitors, but they have fallen out of the automatic promotion picture in recent weeks and tomorrow for the Tigers will be all about priming themselves for a shot at a Premier League return via the playoffs.
For Bolton, it’s again about pride and blooding the youngsters. There won’t be a typical lap of honour, which is probably sensible as it would have been more akin to a walk of shame for some players.
‘There will not be a typical lap of honour. There has been no honour in this season whatsoever. However, the players will be showing their appreciation post-match. They’ll applaud the fans as they have been fantastic for us.
‘We’ll only play another academy player if we think they are ready. We have an eye on one or two. We’ll decide tomorrow.’
Jimmy Phillips, on a lap of (dis)honour and blooding potentially more youngsters.
‘We`re now unbeaten in five, we`ve won three of those and it really should have been four but the disappointment is that we couldn`t buy a win six weeks ago.
‘We won at such a canter the other night you`re left wondering why we couldn`t do that five or six weeks ago. But it is what it is.’
Hull boss Steve Bruce in his press conference. Presumably before ordering a XL pizza.
Bolton Wanderers Team News:
Oscar Threlkeld, who had done so well after his return from Plymouth, has injured his hamstring. Niall Maher will serve a suspension after his sending off last weekend.
Josh Vela picked up a knock but there are hopes he could play. Mark Davies is ‘touch and go,’ while there will be no comebacks from the likes of Madine and Wellington.
Player to watch: Tyler Garratt
Why not? Garratt came on at Cardiff last Saturday after Maher’s dismissal, and he acquitted himself rather well.
So Phillips has a choice. Does Dean Moxey get the starting place or will another academy product get his first start?
Hull City Team News:
Michael Dawson has been injured of late but has trained all weekend, so could return for this one.
The Tigers will definitely be without David Meyler and Nick Powell, due to their respective hamstring and thigh problems.
Player to watch: Curtis Davies
Been a fairly permanent fixture in the centre of defence this season, Davies career has been saved from the scrapheap since joing the Tigers a few years ago.
Match Facts & Stats
Bolton haven’t lost a home league game to Hull City since 1935. A time when Hitler was the German Chancellor, the BBC hadn’t launched a permanent television service, and Emile Heskey was at secondary school.
However, Hull have won three of their past six games against us, the most recent being the 1-0 victory at the KC Stadium in December.
Bolton are now 14 games without a win. Their last win was on February 6. Only Crewe, relegated from League One the same day we went down, have a longer winless run, standing at 15.
We had our backs to the wall at Cardiff, but the most part the defence stayed firm. Without Threlkeld and Maher, who have been solid, we could be weak in the full back areas again.
However, I am confident we can keep that unbeaten home record against Hull going. A 1-1 draw.
Only one more! A trip to Fulham next weekend beckons.