What a week for Bolton Wanderers! We have two young wingers break-out in a cup game in Shropshire, fan-favourite Jay Spearing rubber-stamped his return and news is now filtering through that Brighton and Hove Albion are taking one of our biggest earners, Keith Andrews on a season-long loan. That`s two of my three wishes granted, now I`m just waiting for Kate Upton to agree my date request and it`s 3-for-3. I was going to ask for Dawson as well, but I didn`t want to push it?
With all that`s going on this Friday, it`s easy to forget there`s a home Championship game happening tomorrow? Well, maybe not.
The signing of Spearing will only add to the atmosphere tomorrow as Bolton Wanderers take on Reading for the Whites` home-opener with one of the league`s favourites for promotion.
Nigel Adkins took over, an almost doomed Reading last term, from- what seemed a like-for-like replacement- the sacked Brian McDermott. Keeping hold of the majority of Reading`s key players this summer hasn`t seemed a problem for Adkins- in fact he`s added some extra quality to an already effective Championship calibre outfit.
Make no mistake, this isn`t going to be easy, regardless of the atmosphere the home crowd generates. Reading know this league inside out. They know what it takes to get out of this league, not only from a team perspective, but from a managerial standpoint also.
“They are a Premier League outfit and if they start well in the first 15 games then they will be favourites.
“We understand this is a very difficult game for us. This is one of the teams we will be fighting for one of the top six positions.
“But on saying that, we`re starting to get a group of players together who are getting stronger. We got a couple of good results last week and a few guys are getting fitter, so at the Reebok we can give anyone a game.” Dougie Freedman talking to the Bolton News
Bolton Wanderers Team News:
With the absence of Holden and Mavies, the addition of Spearing has come as a massive boost. Eagles and Chungy are both nursing knocks from the Turf Moor clash, but have no fear, Rob Hall, Sanmi Odelusi and if needed, Andre Moritz are waiting in the wings.
Player to watch: Rob Hall
I think if he gets the nod, he’s going to tie them in knots. He’s young, he’s hungry and he’s got some demons to exorcise.
Reading Team News:
Reading boss Nigel Adkins has striker Nick Blackman available.
The former Sheffield United man returns from the one-match ban he served following an altercation with a steward last season.
Adkins could decide to stick with the same team that recorded a 2-1 win over Ipswich on the opening day of the campaign.
Midfielder Daniel Williams is in contention to make his first league start for the Royals should the manager choose to shuffle his pack.
Player to watch: Royston Drenthe
The ex-Real Madrid midfielder is too inconsistent to be labelled a world class player. But on his day he can put in a world class performance. Let’s hope when he licks his index finger to test the wind tomorow, he decides he’s not in the mood.r
Match Facts & Stats
Overall we have faced Reading 27 times, tallying 13 victories and 10 defeats. We first faced Reading in 1901 and again in 1904. An 80 year gap unravelled until we played and lost to them again in 1984.
My heart says we will nick it at the death with a 1-0 win. But my head says 1-1.
It doesn’t get any easier, I’m afraid. Next Saturday, it’s a stroll in the park at Nottingham Forest.