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Why Ronan Darcy is finding the consistency to become a first-team Wanderer

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karlypants

karlypants
Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse
Form really does follow function for Ronan Darcy, who is finally proving to Keith Hill that he can be a first team regular for Wanderers.

The talented 19-year-old has been billed as the next breakthrough star of the academy for several months but has had to wait for his chance under the current boss.

Darcy – who also suffered a foot injury earlier this season – had not started a game since the Leasing.com Trophy group match against Bradford at the start of September But after taking a lead role in Whites’ 2-2 draw against AFC Wimbledon at the weekend he will be asked to spearhead tonight’s cup trip to Accrington and provide his manager with more evidence that he can fill the void left by the injured Ali Crawford.

“We are seeing him develop as a character, spending more time with him at the training facility,” Hill told The Bolton News. “He understands what me and Dave want from him.

“He’s stronger, we know he’s creative, but that’s about making things look simple. A look, a back-heel, a touch – that’s not creative – now he understands, he’s an intelligent footballer.

“We have to work on him getting stronger but as a technician I don’t want a few moments, I want a lot of moments. Functionally, out of possession, I thought he was brilliant against Wimbledon. Then in possession I thought he had those moments and we got consistency. We have to build on that.”

Wanderers will make some changes at the Wham Stadium within the squad used at the weekend.

That could mean a return for winger Thibaud Verlinden, who will also be out for redemption after a difficult day at Accrington last time out.

“I love Thibaud,” Hill said. “He has to understand that if he wants to be the Premier League player that he could be with his ability he has to do the functional things.

“I am not Sam Allardyce but he is a big believer in every player having a function and that they cannot expose the team. We are asking, coaching, teaching and hoping that Thibaud learns from the Accrington lesson, for example.

“He is an unbelievable talent and we’re trying to turn him into a Premier League player on our watch. If he gets the energy levels up to complete 90 minutes, brilliant.

“At the moment, when the opposition are little tired and there is less energy in the game, I feel it’s a better time to introduce him.”

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