How was Bolton's summer?
Wanderers were very busy over the summer, bringing in eight players in an attempt to fix the issues that plagued the club for much last season. It is/was Dougie Freedman's first transfer window in charge and as such, he tried to make the team look like his. It wasn't just him bringing in a bunch of former Crystal Palace players (there was only one of those). Instead, it was a mix of experienced and young talent, keeping an eye on the present and on the future.
Results-wise, the summer was pretty poor. Wanderers didn't keep a single clean sheet nor did they win any of their pre-season friendlies. The summer exposed a lot of rust in the squad and highlighted some of the problem areas.
What did you make of the opening day draw at Burnley?
A point away in a local derby on opening day is something I would have taken prior to the match but the way that Wanderers went about it was disappointing at best. There were more than a bright spots, of course, but for much of the match, Bolton looked disjointed and completely toothless in the attack. Of the three forwards that made appearances (Jermaine Beckford starting with David Ngog and Craig Davies as substitutes), only two shots were taken. Both of those were on target and one was a rasping drive from Craig Davies that was destined for the top corner, forcing a diving save from Tom Heaton to keep it out. Darren Pratley, Wanderers' best player on the day, spared the team's blushes by dispatching a well-placed low cross from Chris Eagles in the first half after Bolton went down to an own goal.
What are expectations like at the club now that Dougie has had his feet under the desk for a while?
We expect a much more regimented and fit team than what we saw under Owen Coyle. The signs of progress under Dougie Freedman were immediately apparent last season and the belief in him was reinforced with the signing of Craig Dawson, who helped guide the team to a marvelous late-season run, just missing out on the playoffs.
What are your best memories of Bolton v Reading
I'll have to go with Bolton's 3-0 win at the Reebok in August 2007. It was a resounding victory and goals from Nicolas Anelka and Gary Speed always bring back good memories.
And the worst?
The season before that. Bolton lost to Reading home and away but the 1-3 loss at the Reebok isn't exactly my happy place.
Do you expect the club to do more business before the window shuts?
Yes, at least in the loan market. The rumors surrounding a Jay Spearing return are very much alive, as is the potential return of Craig Dawson. Either way, I expect Freedman to add at least another midfielder.
I'll go with 2-2.
Any tips for those heading to the Reebok?
Watch out for the falling signage. (link to http://www.
Thanks again to Mark and you can find plenty more on Wanderers at The Lion of Vienna Suite and follow them on Twitter@lionofviennaste