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Player Ratings: Bolton Wanderers 3 v 4 Watford

The Championship's game of the season (ignoring Dougie's 4-4 with Blackpool) and we lose out by the odd goal in seven. How did the boys fare?

Michael Steele/Getty Images


When you concede four goals you've usually had a 'mare' but not this afternoon. He won a personal duel with Almen Abdi on no less than three occasions before we allowed the dangerous playmaker enough space yet again to finally curl a delicious effort out of his reach.

Had no chance with any of the goals really, every one found the corner of his net. His kicking was ever so slightly better which means he must of read my player ratings article vs Fulham and decided to work on it during the week. Good on you Andy!


My calls for him to be rested were well founded as Josh put in an understandably jaded performance.
Was moved forward ahead of Saidy Janko in the second half as Ikechi Anya's pace proved too much for him to handle a number of times. Still showed the odd flash of quality but he was far from the talent we all know he is.

Not surprising that he needs a breather as this is his first proper extended run at this level and he has played almost every game since Neil Lennon took over.

Not sure whether Kevin McNaughton has given Lennon a wedgie or a Chinese burn in training as he really doesn't seem to want to involve the silver fox but he might be the steadying influence our defence needs for a few games.


I thought that he had a decent enough game overall and wasn't culpable for any of their goals unless he was supposed to be marking Troy Deeney for their winner.

Won a fair few headers and his distribution was better than Tuesday night. May be under pressure from Matt Mills' return though if we stick with 4-4-2 against Dougie's Nottingham Forest.


Was unlucky as he got a foot to the ball when Odion Ighalo had turned him but it ricocheted back to the Nigerian to allow him to place the ball past Lonergan. Was constantly troubled by the best forward line in the Championship which is no disgrace. Was a presence from our set pieces as always and almost capped his birthday and possession of the captain's armband with a goal in the first half.


An excellent first half linking up with Liam Feeney again. His confidence on the ball is very much apparent now and gives us a real platform down the left to get at teams. Found Juan Carlos Paredes a tricky customer but marshalled him well. His second half didn't go exactly to plan as he was caught sleeping when Joel Ekstrand nipped in front of him to steer in Watford's third goal. A rare error from our most consistent player.

He still can't break the hoodoo of never having scored for us as he slashed a close range chance wide. It'll come eventually Tim!


One burst forward and clever pass out to Feeney for the controversial first goal aside he was nowhere near as effective as he was against Fulham. He was even outstripped for pace once by the rapid Anya and was asked to swap with Vela to try and deal with the lightening quick wing-back. This limited his attacking capabilities.

Skewed a first half chance wide and looked dead on his feet by the end of the game, not surprising given this was only his second game in professional football that he has lasted over 45 minutes.


I'm afraid he was overrun by Watford at times and his passing was particularly awry. He won a few aerial balls which pleasantly surprised me but he is in a slightly worrying run of form for me now. Missing Darren Pratley alongside him as the brawn to his brains.


The game bypassed him after a bright start. One rising shot in the first half tested Heurelho Gomes and his scampering runs past players reminds me of Mark Davies at times.

Just unsure where his best position is and how we best utilise his obvious talents. I don't see that as one of two central midfielders unfortunately.


"@OptaJoe: 3 - Bolton's Liam Feeney has become the first player to assist three goals in a Championship game this season. Treble."

Again playing in an unnatural position on the left wing, he provided all three assists; every one a low, accurate ball after working the space to cross.

Can't ask much more from him than that and even filled in at right back at the end of the game. Still has some dissenters somehow but I think he's been fantastic recently.


What a joy to behold this guy is. Two confident, sweeping one touch finishes for his goals. Played Adam Le Fondre in on goal on a couple of occasions as his weight of pass was fantastic. Worked so hard all over the pitch to try and turn the game in our favour and couldn't of done any more personally.

He won't be here long unfortunately as this boy is destined for the top.

If City eventually lose Sergio Aguero it wouldn't surprise me if they come sniffing for the Denton born 'Citeh' supporter as he reminds me of the Argentinian superstar in the way he moves, his diminutive stature and his instinctive finishing. High praise indeed!

Let's just enjoy him while we can.


His link up with Zach Clough was superb at times and his movement and sharpness around the box is great to see. Another goal to his name but he could and should have had a hat-trick in all honesty.

The volleyed effort in the first half that was cleared off the line by Ben Watson, his dink deflected wide when put through one on one, the shot that was well saved from a wide angle after being sent clear by Clough and his follow up to Feeney's deflected shot parried by Gomes were all chances he will be disappointed not to have taken.

The exciting thing is that we are creating these chances for him now and he will have days where he scores 3/5 and not 1/5 - Then we will start to blow teams away.

I just worry that we'll have another Lukasz Jutkiewicz situation on our hands in that we won't be able to afford him in the Summer.



Not sure what his best role is still but I think his knowledge and experience around the place will be invaluable to the likes of Clough and Vela's development. We should keep him here next season, if he's up for it!


Actually did okay when thrust on for the last two minutes' worth of aerial bombardment.
Struggle to think that he will play any part at all though when Craig Davies and Emile Heskey are back fit and part of our squad.



Understandably picked a similar team and formation to the Fulham victory but perhaps didn't use his subs bench well enough here.

Bannan became anonymous in the second half and Slavchev or Twardzik could have offered more of a presence and some fresh legs when we were being overran in the engine room.

Also, where the hell is Rochinha? Was shrewd in recognising that Vela could not handle Anya and swapped him with Janko in an attempt to reduce the Scottish international's influence on the game.