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Bolton Nuts » BWFC » Bolton Wanderers News » Alex Baptiste: 'Maybe I'm getting old... But it was never a sending off!'

Alex Baptiste: 'Maybe I'm getting old... But it was never a sending off!'

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Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse

Alex Baptiste reckons Wanderers’ bad luck with referees is turning him into a grumpy old man!

The veteran defender watched on in disbelief as MJ Williams became the latest Bolton player to receive a red card on Saturday.

That followed Marcus Maddison’s sending off the previous Tuesday, which was eventually overturned by the FA.

Baptiste, approaching his 20th year as a professional, turned in a fine performance to help Wanderers see out victory against Stevenage with 10 men. But Rutland official Trevor Kettle’s display left the defender shaking his head.

“It’s so frustrating,” he said. “Even the Tranmere game, we have had some horrible decisions.

“It was never a sending off. You can’t touch people anymore – but maybe I’m getting too old. You can’t do anything.

“It wasn’t a sending off but we’re just happy we got the win.”

Wanderers had chances early on to put the result beyond doubt but Stevenage gradually eased their way into the game to leave Ian Evatt’s men hanging on at the end.

“The performance, we should have really put them to bed before the sending off,” Baptiste said. "When the sending off happened, we’re thinking here we go again for the last 15 minutes.

"But it was all about the win and maybe Tuesday helped us regarding that we were 1-0 up again. It was a debatable sending off but we dug in this time.

"I think we went back to the drawing board with a few things defensively and it was nice to get a clean sheet and get a win. It was just a sigh of relief." For most of the season Baptiste had been playing for the first time in his career as part of a back three but feels the recent move to a 4-2-3-1/4-3-3 formation has been a success, boosted by the recent intake of players on transfer deadline day.

“I am happier,” he said. “The gaffer had used a three and wanted to try the formation he had used at Barrow. Since getting a few new personnel he has changed it up and I think it has worked.

“At Exeter we could have won, Cheltenham at home, Tranmere we got robbed a little bit and the same at home last Tuesday. The common denominator has been that we are playing well, it feels comfortable. The whole squad has a part to play.

“I won’t lie, I was tired at the end of the (Stevenage) game but I will be fine for Wednesday.

“The gaffer has got a headache in the sense there are 22 or 23 players he can play and it wouldn’t matter if I came out of the team, he has got quality to put in there.”


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