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Bolton Nuts » BWFC » Bolton Wanderers News » "He’ll get 25 to 30 goals next year" - Phil Brown back Bolton striker to shine

"He’ll get 25 to 30 goals next year" - Phil Brown back Bolton striker to shine

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Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse
Phil Brown believes Wanderers have backed a winner in new striker Eoin Doyle.

The former club captain and first team coach watched Doyle rattle in 25 goals for another of his old employers, Swindon Town, last season, and feels he is a safe bet for new Bolton boss, Ian Evatt.

Doyle turned down the chance to continue in League One after promotion with the Robins to pen a three-year deal with Wanderers.

Brown is tipping the Irishman to become the first Bolton player to break the 20 barrier in two decades.

“I’m down in the Cotswolds at the moment, not far away from Swindon, where I managed,” he explained. “He’s not exactly a legend down here because it was only a short spell, but what an acquisition. A goal-scorer in this league – I think he’ll get 25 to 30 goals next year - and what a start that is for Bolton.

“It’s a marker. People have asked where they got the money from but it doesn’t matter, for me, it’s a great signing and the start of something good, hopefully.”

Speaking to The Wanderer podcast on BBC Radio Manchester, Brown said he would have loved the chance to return to Bolton when the club dispensed with Keith Hill and David Flitcroft’s services this summer.

Instead, Wanderers targeted Evatt to be their new head coach after his hugely impressive start to management at Barrow.

“People have asked me if I was interested in the job, of course I was, but whether the club is going in a different direction, I don’t know,” Brown said. “They have started to make signings and that first one, for me, was unbelievable.

“They have paid a compensation fee for him which, in itself, suggests the lad has pedigree already and he’s on the way up.

“It’s a case of going from a small club to a big one. Will that be too big for him? He’s got to prove that point and has to hit the ground running.

“You have to build a squad, first and foremost, but when you do get into the games you have to start winning them early doors, end of story.”

Brown was in the dugout during Wanderers’ Premier League and European glory years but also saw the other side of the coin as a player, picked up by Phil Neal at Burnden Park after Bolton had just spent their first-ever season in the lowest division.

“It’s never a nice feeling when a club which has been close to my heart goes down,” he said.

“Shortfalls in finances and points have been discussed over the years but it’s normally what happens on the field of play which normally dictates whether you get relegated or not, and Wanderers didn’t do enough last year.

“Again it takes me back to when I first signed for Bolton in 1988 from Halifax Town. I’d left Hartlepool in 1985, it was a long journey and I haven’t got back yet, and we played Bolton over three games in the FA Cup.

“We played at home and drew, went to Burnden Park and drew, and eventually came back to the Shay and Wanderers beat us 3-1. Phil Neal was playing left-back over those games, strangely enough, and he saw this young lad flying past him every five seconds.

“He decided he needed an attacking full-back to replace himself, of all things, and how could I refuse that? The ex-England right-back managing the Wanderers, a huge club, for me, and I think he bought me for £17,500. It was a fantastic price.”


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