Bolton's preseason tour in Scotland hasn't exactly been a ringing success. The Men in White go into the last game of the tour without a win yet, having logged one draw and one loss. However, this isn't regular season, and the results aren't really what count. The purpose of the tour is to give the boys a chance to play together, veterans and newer additions, inside Coyle's new vision, and the match against Falkirk should be much the same.
Falkirk is not an unfamiliar club for Owen Coyle. He spent one season in 2002 there, as a co-player-manager (which is something they obviously do in Scotland), scoring 20 goals in 36 league appearances. This was his first managing experience of any sort, but he moved on after only one season into a coaching role at Dundee, not to return to the managing trade until 2005. The manager said this of the tour in general,
"We've changed the system in both games and that's not to say it's the one we're going to play - it's just the personnel we've got right now. Marvin is still to come in, David is still to come in, but the thing is about fitness up here and sometimes you lose sight of that. I'm not concerned, if that's the word you'd want to use.
"All we need to be is ready for August 18 and that's why we do it bit by bit. There are plenty more games to come."
Once again, the focus of the match will be on experimentation rather than playing the best possible XI. Last season the team failed to land upon a coherent system, fluctuating between the 4-4-2 and the 4-5-1, though probably finding more success with the latter. The 4-4-2 hasn't reared it's outdated head recently, with Coyle favouring the 4-5-1, or the 4-3-3, with talented wingers Martin Petrov and Chung-Yong Lee pressing further up the field than usual.
In spite of this chaos, players will have to do their best to impress if they want to ensure playing time in the coming season, or in Kalifa Cisse's case a contract at all. In the midfield in particular it's still very unclear who the best players are, or what the most effective combination would be, so it will be important to pay attention there.
Tickets to the match cost £12 for adults, and just £6 for children. It does look as though Bolton fans unable to attend the match can purchase an official live stream from the Falkirk site for £3. Come on you white men!