Joe Mason won't feature in this match. Neither will Marvin Sordell. But those strikers are not the guys Bolton supporters will be interested in Friday afternoon. Fans of the Mighty Wanderers of the north will be more concerned about the striker(s) on the field at 3 PM. Jermaine Beckford. Lukas Jutkiewicz. This is who Bolton Wanderers need to be concerned about.
Dougie Freedman has gone back and forth between the 4-2-3-1 formation he so adores and the 4-4-2 formation the fans in the terraces love. With only four matches left in the season, the manager would be well-served to experiment with different players and tactics.
The victims/beneficiaries of this experimentation will be Charlton Athletic. They sit one point above the relegation zone, with 41 points from 41 matches. The Addicks have allowed 55 goals while scoring 31. That is a -24 goal difference. Pretty poor overall, but actually the best mark amongst the bottom six.
Bolton are in 14th position, with 54 points from 42 matches. They have scored 54 goals while conceding 56 goals. That's actually not bad overall. So, with four matches left, what should the goals be for the rest of the season? I can think of three.
1. Finish with a positive goal difference.
2. Finish with over 60 points.
3. Bring us some joy.
The first two are concrete, attainable, measurable goals. The third might not be easily explainable to the uninitiated, but we all know what it means. For the last couple weeks of the season, just make us happy to be Wanderers. Even if we don't win every match, play in a way that lets us depart with a smile on our faces.