Saturday’s draw against Rotherham United marked the start of another busy period for us with it being the first of three games inside a week.
Wednesday’s encounter against Nottingham Forest quickly follows and it is imperative that we make our home advantage count against Forest and also Hull City who visit us on Saturday.
The manager was able to make a number of personnel changes for the game at the New York Stadium which enabled us to adopt a different style of play.
This highlighted the strength in depth we now have at our disposal given our extensive recruitment and will bode well over what is going to be intense couple of months.
It was a typical physical and hard fought affair with Rotherham battling all the way throughout. They obviously received a tremendous boost when we missed the penalty which they capitalised on to take the lead.
But having gone behind we showed character, tenacity and determination to get back into the game and I’m very pleased for Christian Doidge to open his goal-scoring account for the club. It was a good finish by him and one that will boost his confidence no end.
The game also allowed Clayton Donaldson, Marc Wilson and Lloyd Dyer to get some valuable minutes under their belts and they all worked hard for the team.
It was a blow to lose Gary O’Neil to injury in the first half as he was integral to our attacking threat. Hopefully, he won’t be out for too long and we can welcome him back into contention alongside Sammy Ameobi and Andy Taylor, who have been on the side lines.
The entire squad has its part to play over the coming months.
I must also mention the fantastic support from our travelling fans in South Yorkshire. There were just under 2,000 of you there and you were the loudest in the stadium by far.
That passion and support helps and inspires the players and has been exceptional on our travels this season.
One thing that has become apparent this season is just how wide open the Championship seems to be which has made it more of a level playing field in comparison to last season where Wolves were runaway leaders for the majority of the campaign.
On its day, any team can beat another. At the weekend, several of the leading teams, such as Leeds United, Sheffield United and West Brom, lost their matches which has made it possible for teams to move positions quite significantly.
Looking at our position we are just five points away from a play-off berth, so it’s key to find consistency and get a run of results together.
With the two homes, starting on Wednesday against Forest, we need that passion and support in full voice again at the University of Bolton Stadium.
We know what a positive effect a passionate and vociferous stadium has on our players, so let’s make sure we are in fine voice on Wednesday evening and for the Hull game.
As I have said, these two home games are crucial and a couple of wins will give the club a tremendous boost.
Tickets and hospitality for both games are available to buy and can be bought by clicking here.
I am sure you all have read the media coverage in relation to attendances for midweek matches in the Championship being adversely affected by the TV coverage and live streaming.
Nothing beats watching football in person at a stadium. The atmosphere can be unparalleled and we only need to look at the last game of last season against Forest to understand just what it means. For those of you who were there, the memories will never leave you.
But there is a growing demand for watching football on television and online, and of course this also brings benefits to clubs.
For me, although the jury is still out, the debate will give clubs plenty of food for thought going forward on how they can address this issue.
Our half season tickets are now on sale and I cannot emphasise enough the value for money that they offer if you are to watch us on a match by match basis.
Commencing on our Boxing Day fixture against Rotherham United, the half season ticket, which covers 12 games, works out from just £15.42 per match for adults and a flat rate of £60 for under 18s.
You can buy them online, in-store at Bolton Central or by calling 0844 871 2932.
It promises to be an exciting second half of the campaign for the club and I urge those of you haven’t got a season ticket to get hold of one. Don’t miss out on this fantastic value for money offer.
Also, we are doing a special offer for the Swansea City game on Saturday 10 November whereby season ticket holders can buy up to four additional tickets for just £10 each.
If you buy a half season ticket now, you will also be able to take advantage of this offer.
On Thursday, members of our first team squad will be in attendance at the BWFC Juniors Halloween Party.
Entry is free for BWFC Juniors members and junior season ticket holders, with adults costing just £1 and non-members £5 on the door.
Bolton Wanderers’ International Football Programme are hosting its Elite Pro Club Experience (EPCE) at the training ground and Bolton Whites Hotel this week.
The players involved will work with the club’s Academy staff on a variety of sessions, seminars and strength and conditioning built in and around a competitive games programme as well as playing a variety of academy opposition over the duration.
It is a very exciting time for BWIFP and I look forward to seeing a variety of nationalities experience the Bolton Wanderers way of life.
Much has been written about the funding of grassroots football in the country, especially after the intended sale of Wembley by the FA fell through.
It’s important that every club does its bit to support their local communities in terms of providing the necessary support for grassroots football.
I’m fully behind this drive and I’m pleased that our Community Trust and International Football programmes provide many opportunities to grow the game at grassroots level.
This is one of the reasons why we are staging the IberCup at the stadium and training ground next year, which will provide tremendous opportunities for grassroots clubs in the local area to take part in a globally recognised competition.
I hope many of you has also had the chance to visit Bolton Central to view our new range of training wear.
There is a variety of clothing on offer in both adult and junior sizes, with them exact replicas of that which our first team and Academy players wear on a daily basis.
They are also available online by clicking here.
Our away and third choice replica shirts have proven to be very popular this season, so much so, that most of the common sizes had sold out quite early on. However, I’m delighted to confirm that we are now taking pre-orders for both shirts in all sizes.
We are expecting the delivery to come in very soon from our suppliers so please pre-order today by visiting clicking here or in store at Bolton Central.
The Octagon Theatre is staging its production of And Did Those Feet in the Lion of Vienna Suite until the end of the month. It’s centred on Wanderers’ 1923 FA Cup final victory against West Ham United and is a must watch for any Wanderers’ fan. Tickets can be booked by calling 01204 520661.
I look forward to seeing you at the University of Bolton Stadium on Wednesday and as usual let’s be loud, let’s be proud and let’s get behind the boys!
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