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Nobody is safe: Wheater on Wanderers' defensive conundrum

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Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse
David Wheater admits Wanderers’ increased competition for places at centre-back has got everyone looking over their shoulder.

The summer signings of Jack Hobbs and Marc Wilson have already disrupted his own long-standing partnership with Mark Beevers at the heart of the Bolton defence.

And the club skipper has even found his own place under jeopardy on occasion, starting recent games at Ipswich and Stoke on the bench, as Phil Parkinson tried to keep his players in top condition.

Wheater started alongside Hobbs in last weekend’s defeat against Blackburn Rovers but he knows the international break could give any of the quartet a chance to strengthen their case for a start at Rotherham United.

“Everyone is on their toes at the minute,” he told The Bolton News.

“In a selfish way I suppose you don’t want competition but it’s better for the team – and the manager has got four good centre-halves to pick from now.

“I know I have to play well to stay in. My place isn’t guaranteed. And it’s the same for everyone else.

“Not only that, but it means you have to train hard as well. You can’t have a day off or take it easy. The next thing you know, you’ll be sat on the bench and out of the team.

“That will be the same over the international break because the gaffer makes sure you come in to work. They call it a break – but for us it’s more of a chance to get in and fine-tune things.”

Hobbs has been widely praised since he got into the Wanderers side at Middlesbrough, playing the last five consecutive games.

Injury problems at his former club Nottingham Forest meant the 30-year-old Hobbs had not managed such a run of games in 18 months.

But Wheater has been impressed with the former Liverpool, Leicester City and Hull City man since he earned a deal in the summer.

“He’s been fantastic since he came in,” he said. “Obviously he’s had to bide his time a bit for a place in the team but he’s played a lot of Championship football and I think it was a case of just getting him fitter.”


Natasha Whittam

Natasha Whittam
Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse
Another day, another BWFC press release stating the bleedin' obvious.

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