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5 Things: Crewe Alexandra v Bolton Wanderers

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Liam reflects on the Capital One Cup game away at Hull

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Up for the Cup

The Cup provided a nice little distraction for us all from are quite frankly dire league showings so far this season. This was reflected in our very impressive away support turnover of over 1,000 which will be among the highest around for a Round 2 Capital One Cup fixture.

A good or at least existent Cup run could be just what the doctor ordered for Bolton this season as it can be a great place to boost confidence and also can incentivise both our fringe and youth players that there will be opportunities to impress and keep the intensities up in training.

Despite the hard endeavour to eventually progress, I was absolutely delighted that we were able to qualify for the next round and will be eagerly hoping for another competitive fixture to keep the peripheries of our squad on their toes.

‘The Twittersphere'

Whilst handling the Lion of Vienna Twitter account during the Cup fixture, the extent to which the Bolton Wanderers fans have lost faith in Dougie Freedman became palpable.

He has quite simply lost the support of the fans.

In their protests though I have found that the Bolton fans have on the whole been quite dignified which is perhaps down to the growth of indifference towards the squad which I covered in great detail within previous articles this season.

The support of the team and manager on match days, particularly away from home, still remains quite positive and I would really like that to continue as it is important we get behind the team on match days.

Forums and blogs such as Lion of Vienna Suite and other less-informed Bolton Wanderers fan-sites exist so we can vent our fury or displeasure and we are always happy to hear why you think the club should be run different at both managerial and board room level.

Keep up the good work Bolton Wanderers fans and continue to get behind the team!

‘Jermazing'

I know, it's a seriously good pun.

Last night we saw the best and worst of the former Leeds United and Everton Striker Jermaine Beckford who really has struggled in his time at Bolton Wanderers. Beckford during the game continued to look out of sync with the Wanderers midfield and when the chances were coming he looked characteristically wasteful.

Beckford has found his opportunities reduced this season as Freedman has favoured the more robust forward play of Craig Davies, the Jamaican forwards chances mainly coming later in the game off the bench.

When the big moments came though, Beckford delivered as he twice fired Bolton to winning positions in the game and looked a threat for large portions of the fixture.

Getting 120 mins behind his belt will be bittersweet for Beckford as he got the game time he craves but with the huge fixture with Beckford's former club Leeds looming, Freedman may be tempted to revert to the fresher Craig Davies.

Chelsea

I quite like this draw.

Firstly, what an opportunity for the fans to go back to one the great Premier League grounds. Stamford Bridge is perhaps my favourite ground, a beautiful stadium has married both the old traditional feel that makes English Football special with modern comfort, safety and family orientated function.

Chelsea are also a club we do have an affiliation with and it would also be very good to see Gary Cahill on the pitch once again, heaven only knows how much we have missed him!

Above all, going to grounds like Stamford Bridge reminds players and fans alike about what we are missing outside the Premier League and seeing the bright lights of the Promised Land once again may just put the spark back into our apparent fight for promotion.

The Youth

Is anyone else concerned about the standard of our youth? I often hear glowing reports combined with desperate pleas for the introduction of players from our very expensive Academy.

I must say I am very disappointed from what I have seen so far. Each of the players looks quite some way of the level required and after the particularly poor performances of the graduates against Bury, I was keen to see if we would get a reaction, we didn't.

Dougie Freedman has been critical of the yield of his academy and promotes himself as keen user of the development squad, although it is not difficult to understand why when you see them in action.

Who's responsibility is this? Is the fault with local competition getting the better players or are we failing them through our coaching, inhibiting them from reaching their true potential.

Only officials in the club could know this and I hope they are as concerned about it as some of the fans are as a lot of money has been invested in this part of the club with little reward.

After a particularly poor start to the season, this is perhaps the most disappointing aspect for me.