Opposition view: Unexpected win has raised Bolton hopes of surviving ahead of City clash
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Ahead of today’s battle with Norwich City, Ed Skelly from Bolton supporters’ website LionOfViennaSuite.com, sees a glimmer of hope for Wanderers after an impressive away victory in midweek.
How much of a surprise was the 1-0 win at Birmingham City on Tuesday night?
Given the disappointing performance against Preston North End last Saturday (losing 2-1 at home) and the form of Che Adams, it was expected that Wanderers would be walking away from St Andrew’s having been beaten convincingly. To the surprise of the majority of Bolton fans, we actually managed to win. It was a resilient performance from the team, limiting Birmingham to a few chances and we were able to capitalise when given the opportunity. The win marked the first time Wanderers have done the double over a team in the Championship for nearly four years. In the space of three days, fans went from being resigned to relegation to the glimmer of hope that the great escape could happen again.
Is Phil Parkinson doing a decent job with the resources he has available?
In many ways, Parky is a victim of circumstance, given the lack of funds and the turbulent scenes off the pitch. Although, football is a results business and many fans feel that he should be getting more out of the players we currently have. Prior to the win against Birmingham, Wanderers had taken just eight points from a possible 63. Time will tell if Parky can keep Wanderers up. If he does, he would have done a brilliant job.
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Former Norwich keeper Remi Matthews has been involved recently, how has he been performing?
After an injury to first choice goalie Ben Alnwick last month, Remi has stepped in and has been performing fantastically. The result against Preston could have been a lot worse if not for a couple of great saves. He was even better against Birmingham, pulling off two brilliant saves to deny Jota and Che Adams to ensure Wanderers got the win. Alnwick has since returned from injury, but looks set to be on the bench for the foreseeable future.
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Who have been the better performers so far this season?
The majority of the squad have had flashes of quality, but we’re 23rd because of the inconsistent nature of the team. Players like Josh Magennis and Pawel Olkowski started the season superbly as Wanderers had ten points from the first four games. Magennis hasn’t scored in the league since September. Given he has only just broken into the team, 17-year-old midfielder Luca Connell has been our best performer in recent times. Sadly he’s injured at the moment, but he was playing with the skill and confidence of a more senior player. It’s not a surprise to hear that the likes of Brighton, Southampton and Tottenham have been keeping an eye on his progress.
Six wins in 32 games, what have been the key reasons for this season’s struggles?
We just don’t score enough goals. Wanderers have only scored 21 goals this season. That’s 40 less than Norwich, one less than Billy Sharp and the same number as Teemu Pukki. The way Phil Parkinson sets up a side is to soak up pressure, score a quick goal on the break and try to defend the lead. However, we’ve been conceding early on a lot and with the way Parkinson sets up, it’s a struggle to try and salvage something from a losing position.
Are you nervous about facing Norwich, or can Bolton cause an upset?
I’m sure that Norwich we be looking to put Wednesday’s poor result against Preston behind them with a win against Bolton. With the possibility of either going top or dropping out of the automatic promotion places, a win for the Canaries is vital. Although, a win for Wanderers could push them closer to getting out of the bottom three. If Bolton can defend as well as they did on Tuesday, then who knows?