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Bolton Nuts » BWFC » Bolton Wanderers News » "I didn’t think it would be quite this good" - MJ on Wanderers' rapid rise

"I didn’t think it would be quite this good" - MJ on Wanderers' rapid rise

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karlypants

karlypants
Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse

Wanderers’ remarkable turnaround in fortunes has even surprised the dressing room!

MJ Williams thought the quality in Ian Evatt’s squad was enough to see them improve on the 19th position the club occupied when he signed from Blackpool on deadline day.

But the midfielder admits the speed at which things have changed has made him look twice at the table, with Bolton now closing in fast on the automatic promotion spots.

“When I joined this club I knew we would hit a good patch, but I didn’t think it would be quite this good,” he said.

“We have played some really good football and most of the games we have deserved to win.

“I didn’t expect to come in and go so many games unbeaten, but I am loving it.

“Both on and off the pitch I am loving it, the lads are great in and around the changing rooms and the atmosphere is brilliant. As you can imagine, it is full of confidence at the moment and the lads are buzzing.

“Everything is going really well and I love the way we play football. Our style of play means we have a lot of the ball and control games most of the time.”

Wanderers are undefeated in 12 games now and getting plaudits for some of the football they are producing. The addition of Williams in the middle of the park, however, has given them some extra bite in games where some extra physicality is needed.

Evatt has managed to blend his combative skills with classy ex-Sheffield Wednesday ball-winner Kieran Lee – a player about whom Williams had been forewarned prior to his Bolton move.

“For me, I have got to protect the back four and I feel I have done that quite well since I have been here,” he said. “I like getting stuck in and winning my battles but when I have got the ball I like to be calm and start plays off.

“Since I have been here I feel like I have struck up a good partnership with Kieran Lee and George Thomason, who has played in there as well and been really good.

“Rico and Baps (Ricardo Santos and Alex Baptiste) behind us as well, we’re really enjoying working together.

“Before I joined Bolton a few people talked to me – one of them being someone at Blackpool and told me that Kieran is a top player who never gives the ball away and can run all day. That is everything I have seen from playing alongside him.

“He’s easy to work with, he’s a top lad and we have struck up a good partnership.

“He probably goes forward a bit more than me but I am sat behind him so it gives him license to do that.”

Wanderers face arguably the toughest examination of recent times this weekend when they go to Forest Green – a team which has been leading from the front for most of the League Two campaign and has lost just three times at home so far.

Mark Cooper’s side play at Mansfield tonight looking to put some distance between themselves and the chasing pack.

Fourth-placed Tranmere Rovers also go to Colchester United and could overtake Rovers if they can better their result on the night.

At Wanderers, Williams hopes to carry on regardless. The team has settled into a style of play which has helped them grind out results in difficult circumstances of late, and while supporters will be keeping a close eye on midweek results, Evatt wants his squad’s focus on the weekend.

“The gaffer has touched on it recently that the start of the season wasn’t the best and things didn’t go well,” Williams told the club. “But now we have really got our heads down and we’re getting some luck. Like I say, I think we deserve that luck because of the way we have been playing.

“Since I have been here we have gone into every single game expecting to win. A club the size of Bolton has to be winning games.

“I’m sure that if we keep doing what we have been doing and not getting too carried away then we’ll do well.

“The gaffer’s message to us is that we haven’t achieved anything right now. The results are brilliant, but we have just got to keep it going. We can’t rest."

Wanderers have earned plenty of praise for their defensive plaudits of late but Williams feels it is the attacking quality in the squad that could be the difference maker in big games like the one this weekend.

"The lads we have got up front, especially for League Two, it is scary how good they are," he said. "With those players on the pitch I am sure we will keep creating chances and scoring goals.

"We have got to stay level headed, not change anything and keep doing what we are doing. I know it is going to be tough to get promotion, all the lads do."

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