I think we can all be very pleased with the shift that Wanderers put in against Chelsea. We were strong as a unit, finally looking as though we are communicating with each other, essentially doing what is key to football - working together as a team.
Seeing a lot of positivity has been a welcome addition, rightly so with us only just being edged out of a competative game. But it's also clear from the stats that we did struggle retaining possession and attacking, with their 28 shots compared to our feeble 3.
Maybe it's just me, but I remember a time not long ago when we were pushing for wins at Stamford Bridge, I know we aren't the same team anymore, but it seems a shame to go to an opposition and hope we don't get battered 6-0.
Freedmans insistance to soak up continous attacks and pressure for large parts of the game clearly doesn't work. Our negative approach has been the same all season. We have players who want to move the ball forward, we have to play to their advantages. Either way, I think it was a good challenge for us to test ourselves, and take some momentum into Saturday.
Coincidently, we had a new captain this evening in Matt Mills. The bearded defender along with Liam Feeney has been our most consistent player this season, and has earned his place in the heart of the Bolton defence, very much like Tim Ream did during last season.
I think we can see from his outstanding performance on Wednesday that he is a natural leader. We can all shout at people, point fingers and blame others, but for me it's clear from reading some points on Twitter that Mills galvanised the team, motivated and organised us. Most importantly whilst leading - he is a player in form, unlike regular captain Jay Spearing, who as I have mentioned several times during the season, has been woeful.
Maybe it's early days with him only being captain during this match, but he was already vice captain, so those leadership qualities are there for all to see. I hope his performance & set piece beauty this evening is rewarded with the captains armband when we head down to Derby on Saturday.
Feeney got a start which I was pleased to see. I'm a big fan of the lad and enjoy watching his creativity when going forward. He was good again tonight, but I wish Dougie Freedman would allow him to have some freedom so we can see a bit more.
So I'm giving my MOTM award to Matt Mills. Leader & scorer of our goal. He had a great game. As I said, he should retain the armband for Saturday.