Manager Owen Coyle managed to keep all the players he wanted - with the notable exception of the clubless Nigel Reo-Coker, who opted to seek greener pastures that have so far not materialized. The additions of Matt Mills, Andy Lonergan & Keith Andrews as well as the loan arrivals of Arsenal's Benik Afobe and Liverpool's Jay Spearing, meant that Coyle now only awaits the return of USA International Stuart Holden to the fold.
The results on the pitch to date however, have been a far cry from what the long-suffering fans would have hoped for. An opening day defeat at rivals Burnley, followed by demoralizing defeats at the hands of the mighty Crawley Town and most recently Hull City, have set the tone for a growing number of supporters to call for the head of the Manager, his backroom staff and even the Kit Man!
Keith Andrews has urged the Wanderers players to do a spot of soul searching regarding their performances on the pitch. The Irish international has gone as far as to admit he’d be hurling abuse too if he was in the stands. Bolton Chairman, Phil Gartside let it be known in no uncertain terms that he expects an upturn in fortunes, admitting in a recent interview that both he and Coyle were under “100 per cent pressure” to get the club back into the big time, which carries with it a vastly inflated television deal from next season.
One player who is determined to do his part, is Liverpool loanee Jay Spearing. The 23-year-old, who has played 55 times for the Reds, made his debut in the 3-1 defeat to Hull City. There had even been talk of a permanent move but Spearing’s initial stay is solely on a loan basis with the midfielder reluctant to throw away his dreams of being a first-team regular at Anfield just yet. In a recent interview, Spearing said “I am ready to play for Bolton and I am going to put in 100 per cent every game and try to get as high up the league as possible.”
The pressure is truly on for Owen Coyle and his team, and the International break will hopefully see the Wanderers return refreshed and ready to rumble - bringing fans the results and performances that will drive them up the table and into the Barclays Premier League at the first time of asking.