Despite your poor start to the season, Bolton seem to have clawed their way out of danger - how have you managed it?
I think it’s mainly down to the team spirit within the squad. Having not won in our first eleven games, it seemed like everyone had written us off. The bookies were even giving odds of 1/1000 for us to go down. That has fueled the team ever since. Plus, the way Phil Parkinson sets up a team, we’ve become hard to break down (aside from Saturday against Preston).
Do Bolton have enough to stay up?
I think so. The loss of Gary Madine hasn’t done as much damage as first feared. We’ve picked up wins against Bristol City and Sunderland, as well as points against tough opponents in Fulham and Norwich City. The attacking threat of Sammy Ameobi, Zach Clough, Adam Le Fondre and new arrival Chinedu Obasi should be enough to keep us up.
What are the biggest strengths in this Bolton team?
I’d have to say our midfield, especially the likes of Darren Pratley and Karl Henry. The influence Karl Henry has had on the side this season hasn’t gone unnoticed by Wanderers fans. It’s no coincidence our good form began after his arrival.
And the weaknesses that Reading could exploit?
We seem to be very weak when a side counter attacks with pace, which was why we lost to Preston on Saturday. Too often Wanderers were caught out of position and it cost us. Also, we’re not scoring enough goals, which has cost the side vital wins throughout the season.
What have you made of Reading this season?
You seem to have suffered a sophomore slump under Jaap Stam. You had a great season last year, and maybe the pressure to repeat that was just too great. I think the biggest problem has been your home form, something I hope Wanderers capitalise on.
How do you see the match going? And what will the score be?
Both teams are desperate for a win. Could go either way, could be a dull 0-0. With Wanderers being so poor away from home, I’ll say a draw.