It is safe to say that just about no Bolton Wanderers fan is happy at the moment. Not only are the Trotters still winless on the season, having taken only three points of a possible 24 with barely a good performance to show for it all. It's not that Bolton aren't wining, it's that we are simply struggling to find positives to take from any of it. The 3-1 loss at Brighton, despite not being the heaviest of the season, is a particular low point for the Whites and serves as a pretty decent metaphor for the campaign thus far.
Bolton Wanderers had done well to create chances in the match but had been terrible at putting them away with David Ngog's one-on-one break early on being particularly dreadful. After winning the ball following a fortuitous bounce off of the referee, the striker broke into the area with Tomasz Kuszczak covering his near post. Had he fired anywhere on target that was within a ten-foot range of the far post, it would have resulted in a goal. Ngog didn't, instead sending his shot dead center, allowing Kuszczak to get a hand on the ball to keep it out. That one miss wasn't the be-all and end-all because the Trotters would end up losing 3-1 but it certainly was indicative of bigger problems.
The Trotters can't defend. It's been a factor over the last four or so year. Under Owen Coyle, that defensive inability was masked by firepower throughout the team. Under Dougie Freedman, especially this season, that firepower has disappeared.
Bolton have scored six goals in eight matches this season (only five of which came from Bolton players) and, as we've mentioned probably close to 1,000,000 times over the last month-and-a-half, none have come from the strikers. It is with that point that Dougie Freedman remains adamant that all Bolton (and specifically Jermaine Beckford) needs is one goal for the floodgates to open and a mass of positive attacking flow to rush in.
What if that mentality doesn't apply to just the goals though, instead, applying to every area of the team?
What if all Bolton need is one good team performance to finally piece it all together and start bringing in the points?
Yeovil Town at home has to be that opportunity. Let's not concentrate on the negatives for a brief moment and take a look at what is absolutely a "must win" (for the seventh match in a row) for the men in white.
Newly promoted Yeovil Town are two points above the Trotters in the table, one point and one better off than Bolton. They have conceded less goals than Bolton (five less, to be exact) but have also scored half the number of goals that Wanderers have (a paltry three compared to Bolton's humongous six). They have also faced an overall lower quality of opposition, having already played the likes of Millwall, Birmingham City, and Sheffield Wednesday.
What Bolton Wanderers need from this one, plain and simple, is a win. The confidence needs to go up and the best way to do that is three points first and foremost. In order to get that win, Wanderers have to be ruthless up top and at the back. David Ngog needs to shoot somewhere other than the center of the goal. Jermaine Beckford needs to figure out how to avoid the goalkeeper. Chris Eagles needs to find the target more than once per 15 attempts.
At the back, Bolton have to hold steady. They have to stay tight to their marks, not backing off to allow the shot. They have to clear convincingly without automatically ceding position in the midfield. They have to block shots rather than just standing in front of the goalkeeper.
It has to be all hands on deck against Yeovil Town. Anything less than three points is unacceptable. This match must be the one in which the dam wall cracks and springs a leak before allowing the water, and the wins, to come rushing in.