In Neil Lennon's pre-Wigan Athletic press conference it was revealed that stand-in captain Matt Mills is a doubt for the game and could very well miss out, after he picked up a knock against Huddersfield Town. Lennon said "We'll have to wait and see how he is", so, with any luck, it won't be too serious.
Our glorious leader is obviously a very ambitious man, and he's made it perfectly clear that he cares about cup competitions a great deal and would want to go as far as possible in the FA Cup. This information means that we may not be seeing the wholesale changes that some people, including myself, are calling for against Wigan.
With that in mind, I think I'd like to see Mills having to sit this game out through injury, so he can be rested. He will undoubtably be a big miss in the heart of our defence, he's been a colossal and a leader for Bolton this season, but I'd rather see him fresh, primed and ready for our important league games. We've got a big run ahead of us in the new year, and our most important players need to be in the best condition in order for us to push towards an illusive playoff place.
Besides, there are several options to replace him: David Wheater is in desperate need of game time after returning from a lengthy spell on the sidelines, so the Wigan game is an excellent opportunity for him to get some minutes under his belt and continue to get back in the swing of things. He is certainly only a back-up at the moment due to the excellent form of Mills and Dorian Dervite, but when the inevitable time comes that they can't play, like now, he's going to have to be ready.
Tim Ream could slot in at centre back. It isn't hard to forget that Ream is actually a centre back, thanks to him never really playing well there and due to the fact that he's made the left back position his own. Playing Ream there in a relatively low pressure game will give him the chance to become more accustomed to the position, should he ever be needed. It would also allow the forgotten man, Dean Moxey, some time on the pitch.
However, the option I really hope we see used on Saturday is Oscar Threlkeld given another chance in the first team. Lennon threw Threlkeld into the deep end against Norwich City, upon the news of Kevin McNaughton's injury, and he found it hard against them. So on Saturday I'd really like to see Threlkeld given another chance, and this time actually in his natural position of centre back. I believe he could be a Bolton regular one day, but he needs the opportunity if he's ever going to achieve that.