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Bolton Wanderers winger Craig Noone targets fresh start

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BUT for a few fleeting moments of jubilation at Oakwell and those collective gasps of relief on the final day of the season, Craig Noone’s first season at Wanderers was a humdrum affair.
Much had been expected of the former Cardiff City winger, who had the kind of Championship calibre to make a big impact when he first signed at the Macron.
Yet by Christmas the 30-year-old had managed just three starts and looked off the pace, prompting the player to admit he had not yet done enough to get into Phil Parkinson’s regular thoughts.

Thankfully, by the season end, Noone had shown some glimpses of the player who had been cutting through defences at this level with the Bluebirds and Brighton for several years – and with some important contributions in the final couple of months, Noone now hopes the portents are more positive as his contract ticks into its second year.
“I don’t think I showed my best form,” reflected the Liverpudlian. “I was straight in without many games under my belt.
“I got a bit more playing time towards the end but I don’t want to dwell on the negatives, I want to push on.
“My aim is to play more games now. It will be interesting to see the players who come and go this summer but I want to be involved at the start of the season.”
Noone’s case was similar to that of a few of the Wanderers players, where smaller injuries sustained in the summer months led to slower starts than they would have liked.

This off-season, the winger is keen to report for duty again at the end of the month in peak condition.
“Not many people look forward to pre-season, but I am,” he told The Bolton News. “Without it behind you, you get towards Christmas and you can feel the effects of the games you have played. But the work you put in over the pre-season is worth it.
“Once pre-season is out of the way it’s a nice feeling, you know you’ve put the work in and you’ve done what you can to be ready for when the real stuff starts.

“I’ve had my training plan from the fitness coach, I’ve got my programmes and my targets which are a bit of a necessary evil. But I’ll be sticking to it, definitely, all the work you do in the off-season is worth it.
“And I’ll be spending time in the gym and on the golf course as well.”
After last season’s drama, Wanderers fans may be forgiven for targeting some safe, mid-table solidity this time around.
Bookmakers still have Bolton as favourites for the drop - and Noone admits survival is still the primary target.
“That’s number one,” he said. “And it will be again. I always thought we would be OK last season but it was a bit surreal, staying up like that. The main thing is we’re in the Championship and lived to fight another day.”

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