I`ve tried not to follow or think as much about Wanderers during the international fortnight. It`s been quite cathartic to be able to shut off from it all. But still, nice to be back. Some would say Phil Parkinson has been given The Dreaded Vote of Confidence? by Ken Anderson, who said that Parky would not be sacked regardless of tomorrow`s result against Sheffield Wednesday.
The club`s official public line seems to be one of patience, having wheeled out interviews with ex-players Stelios and Kevin Davies to ram home what we should be thinking. We have beaten Wednesday this season in the League Cup, and everyone is fit or nearly fit, so this is a very good opportunity.
“It is hard for the players putting in all that effort and getting nothing back from it. The whole thing is draining, physically and mentally, but you have to get yourself back up quickly because we were Saturday-Tuesday for a few weeks. There isn`t much time to look back at the next game or work on certain things.”
Parky in the Bolton News, suggesting that he was quite happy with a fixtureless weekend
Bolton Wanderers Team News:
Bolton nearly have a clean bill of health. Scenes. Aaron Wilbraham has had an injection on a pre-existing hip problem, and Will Buckley may not be fit enough yet to be involved, but Josh Vela is back in full training and everyone else should be raring to go too.
Player to watch: Gary Madine
He has been our best and most consistent performer this season, getting to line up tomorrow against the club where he first really made his name.
Sheffield Wednesday Team News:
Wednesday will play a stronger team than the one we beat a couple of months ago, the big news for them being that defender Glenn Loovens is once again available for selection after being out for most of this season with a hip injury.
Player to watch: Gary Hooper
Remember when Neil Lennon took over and Gary Hooper was one of the names being linked with a Macron move? Well, he ended up at Hillsborough and in a squad with striking options has started this season very well for the Owls, scoring more goals than Wanderers have done as a whole in the league, seven to be precise. He is a good all-round striker who will run and run.
Match Facts & Stats
Sheffield Wednesday are the only Championship team we have beaten so far this season, after our 3-2 win in the Carabao Cup second round. It is our only home win too.
Despite this, our recent home league record against the Owls is poor. The last two games have ended goalless, the last three were drawn, while the last win came on Boxing Day in 2000, when Dean Holdsworth and Colin Hendry scored in a 2-0 win. Since then it`s three draws and a loss from four games.
Bolton have lost every home league game this season, Sheffield Wednesday`s away form has been patchy though, not winning away since beating Fulham on 19th August. Their last away day ended with a 1-0 defeat at Birmingham.
Gary Hooper has scored seven goals in the Championship. Bolton Wanderers have scored four.
I`m going to be confident that we can get something here. We played okay against Villa, we`re getting players back from injury now, we`ve already beaten a Sheffield Wednesday side who do struggle on the road. I’m going for a 1-0 Wanderers win
A West London double over the next two weekends. Next it will be QPR at home, before a trip to Fulham the following Saturday.