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'We can't get ahead of ourselves' - Jackson urges focus ahead of Exeter clash

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Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse

Ben Jackson has warned of the dangers of planning Bolton’s promotion party too early.

The defender, whose goal at Morecambe put Ian Evatt’s men within a single victory of a return to League One, says focus cannot be lost for the visit of Exeter City on Saturday.

Wanderers were yesterday reviewing limited options on how they could safely handle an expected swell of expectant supporters outside the stadium.

Inside the camp, Jackson believes the focus cannot be lost on an important 90 minutes if they are to get the job done before a trip to Crawley on the final weekend.

“It would be lovely to finish it off at home,” he told The Bolton News. “But I think we’ve got to stay grounded, we can’t get ahead of ourselves.

“We have worked really hard to earn that little four-point gap again but we have got to win that next game now to seal the deal.”

Wanderers are well aware that if they were to clinch promotion that there could be safety issues to deal with outside the UniBol.

Club officials have discussed their options and will also take input from the emergency services and local authority, with official communication likely this afternoon.

For Jackson, retaining his place in the starting line-up could hinge on whether Declan John recovers from a dead leg.

The youngster, on loan from Huddersfield, says he has learned a lot in his time at Bolton so far, not least from his more experienced team-mate.

“I’m only 20 and he’s a few years older than me and he’s done things in the Championship, played in Scotland, so I want to aspire to be like that and get to that level as well,” he said. “It has been good to watch him, see what he does well compared to what I do and then work on my game.

“He’s a great player, so even when I have not been playing, it has been great to learn from him watching him in training.”

Jackson returned to the starting line-up for the first time since February but has travelled with the squad home and away every week.

He has also played for Huddersfield’s development squad in midweek to maintain peak fitness but admits the lack of games has been a challenge for him.

“I think last year I was at Stockport and I had a similar situation where I was in one week and out the other week so, I think that’s really helped me just stay positive whenever I’m in a situation where I’m not involved,” he said.

“I have to keep my head because you never know. Last Tuesday, I wasn’t expecting to be involved but after Tuesday you’ve just got to be ready and able to take that step.

“I think the best thing about this squad is everyone’s there no matter whether you’re in the squad, whether you’ve started 30 games and I only came in January like quite a lot of the lads did.

“But every game, everyone is there, everyone is chanting and even though there are no fans, you can hear the lads from the stands, so it’s brilliant. Every tackle and every clearance, you just hear them and it helps spur you on really.”

Jackson also says he will return to Huddersfield in the summer boosted by his Bolton experience.

“That’s the plan," he said. "I’ve just got to go back in pre-season and just work as hard as I can and get going.”


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