So... er... that positivity lasted long didn't it? Four days? Must be a new record.
Yes, Bolton Wanderers have not at all gloriously fallen out of the Capital One Cup at the very first hurdle, stumbling to a 1-0 defeat against Burton Albion, courtesy of a massively deflected 30-yard Matt Palmer striker, with which Amos could do nothing.
The 'late goal phenomenon' is back. Yay!
Whilst I am genuinely disappointed we've slumped out of the League Cup so early, I'm not too disappointed. We played alright at times, the movement and creativity was actually very good, we just seriously lack a clinical edge at the minute.
Hey ho, here's how the players did anyway:
Ben Amos - 6
It was yet another game in which Ben Amos had next to nothing to do. He was only beaten by a shot that took a wicked deflection, which would have otherwise nestled gently into his welcoming arms. Again, he was always quick and decisive when coming off his line to cut out danger and his distribution was accurate.
Lawrie Wilson - 6
You probably don't even need to go to the game to know how Wilson played, he was once again steady as can be, I expect he'll be given the title 'Mr. Dependable' if my hero, Tim Ream, does leave for Fulham or Queens Park Rangers. He was once again dependable at the back and got forward tirelessly.
Dorian Dervite - 5.5
Dervite started the game in a similar vain to Saturday, leading the defence, making important blocks and winning everything in the air. But he took a blow to the face in the second half and looked a bit dodgy from that point onwards; hesitating on the ball and being easily brushed off in challenges. He also beautifully placed a last minute header well wide of the post. Mixed evening.
Rob Holding - 6
The one youngster to get a run out was Rob Holding, who made his debut for the club in the centre of defence. He can be proud of his performance too, as he was very assured in his game. He picked up one booking for a rash tackle on the half-way line, but that was because Feeney sold him short with a pass. But that aside, he was fine and din't look out of place. An impressive debut from yet another academy graduate.
Dean Moxey - 6
He didn't quite repeat the heights that he reached against Derby County, but a second solid game in a row for Dean Moxey is nothing to snort at. What impressed me most was the way in which he got forward, he was constantly charging down the left, making intelligent overlapping runs and putting good ball into the box. He even got in the position to have a decent crack on goal at one point too, although it was blocked.
Josh Vela - 6
After no doubt being disappointed to miss out on Saturday, Josh Vela was back in the team for the Burton tie, and he looked good. He was tidy in possession, rarely, if ever, giving the ball away and he provided decent enough cover for the back line. However, he's completely wasted in a defensive midfield position. What made Vela great last season, especially when playing right back, was his explosiveness when he got forward, in defensive midfield he was constantly shackled, hardly every venturing 30 yards with in goal. If we are to see the best of Vela, then he needs to be playing on the right of the midfield diamond in place of Danns.
Neil Danns - 5
I'm wracking my mind with great vigour, truly, but I'm straining to recall a thing of note that Danns did. He played... alright out on the right, working hard once again. But it just feels like a waste of a position if all Danns can offer in abundance is energy and graft.
Mark Davies - 7
Probably Bolton's best player on the pitch, captain for the night Mark Davies sure did echo Darren Pratley in that regards too, as he was buzzing all over the pitch in attempt to win back the ball. Whilst he did a commendable enough job out on the left, he was our main danger in the second half as he cut inside with quick feet, he just seems so wasted and isolated out there. Being on the left makes it difficult for him to really get involved in attack, he's not in the area to pick up on Madine's knock downs and Clough's touches. He needs to be playing in the whole behind a front two of Madine and Clough.
Zach Clough - 6
As one might expect, Clough was able to get on the ball a whole lot more against Burton than he did against Derby. Although, he attracts fouls like a light attracts a moth. He looked sharp, his touch and twists and turns were wonderful to see, and he's slowly but surely regaining the form that earned him the #10. However, he doesn't look quite as confident in front of goal. On a few occasions he had a sight on target but either hesitated or fluffed his lines. I'm sure the goals will come, we just need the illusive first one.
Liam Feeney - Feeney out of Ten
He simply can't go on playing up front, he isn't suited to that position in the absolute slightest and it's a detriment to the side. Plus, it means great chances always fall to him in the box and he always skys them over.
Gary Madine - 6
Very mixed evening from Gary Madine. Whilst I thought his link up play was miles better than it was on Saturday - with one particular cute back feel to Clough which, had Clough been playing with the confidence of six months ago, would have resulted in a goal. However, despite another battling performance, it will only be remembered for one thing: his first half sitter. Feeney's free kick cannoned off the palms of the Burton goalkeeper and bounced perfectly for Madine, five yards from goal. He seemed to get under the header somewhat and, yet again, hit the crossbar. He really needs a good for his confidence, at one point he laid the ball off in the box to Dervite, but his performance was once more encouraging.
Stephen Dobbie - 5
Summer signing Stephen Dobbie has now made his debut for the club, although I did expect him to start the game. He showed some nice touches here and there upon his entrance, but didn't really make an impact.
Emile Heskey - 5
If Heskey could just score goals he'd be the best striker in the world. He got one opportunity against Burton, a cross was swung in, he soared into the air, but the ball hit his back and rolled away.
Tom Walker - N/A
It's good to see him back on the pitch after his minor injury.