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View From The Town End: Bolton

Can we make it back-to-back wins over Bolton? Fewer things would make me happier than getting a precious three points against the 'criminals of 95' and a club containing Matt Mills. Ahead of the game we spoke to one of the founders of the Lion of Vienna Suite, Mark Yesilevskiy

Chris Brunskill

How would you sum up Bolton's season so far?

This season has been upsetting at best, abysmal at worst thus far. Bolton Wanderers can't seem to win matches at home, can't defend, can't score, and can't do whatever the midfield does on most of their outings. It's disheartening to watch and very difficult to fix.

After last year's near miss with the play-offs many were expecting a firm promotion challenge, what's going wrong at the moment?

Honestly, it's a myriad of problems all hitting the proverbial fan at once, albeit slowly and over the course of a half season. No one expected an easy go of it this season given our trials and tribulations last year but they certainly didn't expect to wallow this far down in the table for this long. Bolton are once again being hurt by something that they've lacked for years in that they don't have a prolific (or anywhere near prolific) striker. On top of that, the defense is struggling once again and players are being played out of position due to the lack of coverage and the manager's inability (or unwillingness) to play youth at the back.

Are fans worried about the recent financial losses and debt figures that have been reported?

Of course but it's been trending this way since the 2007 season. The only thing Bolton made money on was Premier League TV contracts and that's all but gone now. The Trotters are, in a word, rubbish at the transfer market. In the years leading up to Dougie Freedman's tenure, this was marked by overspending on mediocre at best talent both in terms of transfer fees and wages. If that wasn't bad enough, the club held onto these players for far too long, neglecting to recoup any money on them and often seeing them leave for free.

What are your best memories of Bolton v Reading?

Most fans will tell you that it was the Play-Off Final but I was admittedly too young for that match to have any real meaning for me. I'll have to go with slightly happier times for Bolton Wanderers, February 2008, the last time the Trotters traveled to the Madejski Stadium. Despite Matty Taylor missing a penalty on the day (thanks to a good Marcus Hanhemann save), it was wonderful to see Wanderers remain positive and hold on for a 0-2 win while finally ending an extremely long away winless streak.

And the worst?

Either match in the season before that, really. Both were heartbreaking losses but the April 2007 one was worse. Reading scored all four goals in what would ultimately be a 1-3 win at the Reebok but the fact that the Trotters let in three in the final ten minutes was just the absolute worst.


Who should Reading fans be worried about on Saturday?

I would say Jermaine Beckford given that he's the only one that seems to have a general idea of where the net is but he's injured for a month. Instead, I'll say Mark Davies, who has really managed to pick up where he left off after getting injured last season and missing 10 months through it. The attacking midfielder loves to run at the defense and his mazy moves through the midfield have created many an opportunity for Bolton Wanderers in seasons past.

Anyone Bolton fans are dreading facing?

Given the state of Bolton's defense (despite a largely positive draw against Nottingham Forest), anyone that knows how to shoot a ball in the direction of Bolton's goal is particularly terrifying. Andy Lonergan has done great work in recent weeks but his defense isn't helping him much.

Score prediction?

Given the way we've been going, I'll say 2-2

Thanks again to Mark and you can follow him on Twitter@Markwhyy