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Bolton waiting for injury update on key midfielder for Walsall visit

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Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse

Wanderers should confirm today whether skipper Antoni Sarcevic faces a lengthy spell on the side-lines.

The midfielder limped out of Saturday’s 1-0 win at Port Vale with a hamstring injury and has since had scans to determine the extent of the damage.

Hopes were high inside the camp at the start of the week that Sarcevic would not miss too much of the League Two run-in, having recently returned to the side with a man-of-the-match display in victory against Cambridge United.

But Ian Evatt – who will reveal exactly how long the 29-year-old will be out of action for at his afternoon press conference – is expecting to shuffle his front four for the visit of Walsall this weekend.

Sarcevic had only recently returned from a hamstring problem but the injury sustained at Vale Park is known to have occurred on the opposite side.

Lloyd Isgrove replaced him on Saturday and after a strong performance is favourite to keep his place against the Saddlers.

Walsall’s head coach Brian Dutton was denied a first win in charge by a contentious late penalty at Crawley on Tuesday night.

He has taken just two points from a possible 24 since replacing Vale-bound Darrell Clarke last month, with the Midlands club dropping to 19th in the table and nine points off the relegation zone.

Dutton says he will take any criticism that comes his way in the hope his luck will change at the UniBol this weekend.

“It has been tough,” he said. “We have played four out of the top eight teams and we have been in every game. We haven’t lost a game two or three-nil, we’ve been done by poor officiating and one goal at times.

“It has been tough but I can take it, no problem whatsoever. I can take the criticism, I deserve it, and it’s not the way to endear yourself to the fans is it by not getting a win in eight? There are smarter ways to endear yourself.

“I take the criticism. It is fair from them. But the players don’t deserve it, just me. And we have got to get off their backs.

“I said when I took the job that if we don’t get to where we want to be, I’ll be failing them and that’s still the case.

“There is no quit in me. I will dust myself down and be ready to go against Bolton and prepare the team accordingly.

“With a bit of luck, we’ll get the first win and get the ball rolling.”

Wanderers also saw another result go their way last night as promotion rivals Tranmere Rovers drew 0-0 with struggling Grimsby Town.

The point takes Keith Hill's side up into fourth but means Bolton could climb above them at the weekend if results go their way.


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