After David Ngog was stretchered off the field on Tuesday night following a dislocated shoulder against Leicester City, Bolton Wanderers' squad numbers dwindled. Bolton are already without Jay Spearing, Keith Andrews, Tyrone Mears, Joe Riley, and Mark Davies for the next three weeks (with the majority facing injury layoffs far longer than that) and have just added Ngog to that list. As Dougie put it: "We're running out of games and we're running out of players."
Tuesday night saw Kevin Davies completely excluded from the matchday 18 and freshly-recalled Tom Eaves in his place. Ngog's late injury allowed Tom Eaves to enter the game with just a few minutes to play and earn his senior debut for Bolton Wanderers. That said, Ngog's injury leaves Bolton Wanderers with just a few options up front. Marvin Sordell and Craig Davies will likely start against Middlesbrough at the weekend while Tom Eaves should be on the bench. Kevin Davies could very well make his return to the side after not having been involved in Bolton's last five matches.
Dougie Freedman explained the situation to the Bolton News:
"Some players who have not been playing will now need to step up.
"We are short on numbers but to be fair to the lads who have come into the team, they have done well.
"We had Matt Mills and young Chris Lester at the (Leicester) game and we're a group of players who want to move forward together. I have to make decisions now.
"I've said I'm trying to get younger players in. Josh Vela came in (against Leicester) and did fantastic - Tom Eaves came on at the end because I feel we've got to go with the unknown a little bit. Tom could be a surprise package for us and we've just got to get him on the pitch as often as we can to move things forward.
"Kevin has got that experience but we'll just have to wait and see how he is, and how other players are around him."