On Tuesday night Bolton Wanderers take on Crewe Alexandra at Gresty Road with a place in the 3rd round of the Capital One Cup at stake. Crewe have made a start even more horrid than our own, losing all four of their League One games so far which leaves them rooted to the bottom of the table.
Coming quickly after the latest defeat, Tuesday should be the perfect opportunity for Bolton to send out the strongest 11 and pick up a morale boosting win ahead of the trip to Leeds at the weekend. However this is Bolton and we all know it won't be simple as that as shown in the previous round when we scraped past Bury at the Macron.
No doubt Dougie Freedman will see fit to use the squad and a host of changes will be made against Crewe, expect the likes of Oscar Threlkeld, Dorian Dervite, Darren Pratley, Liam Trotter, Liam Feeney, Conor Wilkinson and Jermaine Beckford to feature.
The last time the two clubs met in a competitive game was back in our promotion winning season of 2000/2001. Crewe were 2-1 winners at Gresty Road with a last minute Dean Ashton goal. Traditionally Crewe have produced a lot of their own players through their famous youth system and the current squad is no exception. 18-year-old Billy Waters is probably the one to watch of the latest crop of youngsters but unfortunately not quite up to the standard of Ashton just yet. His goal in the previous round helped to eliminate Barnsley which is Crewe's only success so far this season.
There has been a lot of talk from management and players after the Brighton & Hove Albion game about how surprising the poor start has been and the need to stand up and be counted. It's now time to put those words into action through a solid win. With preseason optimism gone a good performance and win will go some way to restoring some supporters' faith in the team.