Having lost the Morecambe game to Covid-19 and encountered the first decent snowfalls of the winter, we were looking for a fiery performance from the Wanderers to warm us all up and set us on our way for the rest of the season.
Ian Evatt went for three changes, bringing back Harry Brockbank, Reiss Greenidge and Lloyd Isgrove, in a bid to tighten the defence against a pacey attacking team.
For the first hour, it was a fairly even, end-to-end, open contest with plenty of half chances for both teams. Then Crawley struck with a well-worked goal, which seemed to give us the kick up the backside we needed. We swarmed forward, creating chance after chance.
How we did not score, I do not know as poor finishing, bad luck and inspired goalkeeping all played a part. But at the end of the day, it was another miserable result adding to our woeful home form.
We are not quite at the halfway stage in this season, but I believe we are now entering phase two of our rebuilding.
Phase one has been a reasonable start, essentially a big learning curve for owners, management, players and fans alike, as we are coming to terms with the challenges ahead.
The January transfer window will be our first review and give us the chance to make a few adjustments, within the financial constraints of our transfer embargo, the EFL’s salary cap and the reduced income from the effects of the lockdowns over the past year.
This will determine which players we will be in the market for and it will be a real test of Evatt’s management skills to identify the players that will come to Bolton and improve the squad.
I remember teasing Diego Costa at Chelsea in 2014 as he warmed up as a substitute, that if he wanted a game he should come to Bolton. He did not say no!
The new year gives us all a blank book to be written with twelve new chapters and 365 new pages. Let us hope that Sharon Brittan and Evatt between them can create inspiring stories for Bolton Wanderers this year.
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