Bolton Wanderers embark on their first away day of the season on, as they travel to that horrible, smog smeared land to face Middlesbrough. So to some fan opinion and insight, I asked Boro fan and incredible illustrator, Steve Welsh, some questions which he kindly obliged to answer.
1) Zenden kicked twice didn't he? DIDN'T HE?
It took us 128 years to win that cup, I think we deserved a bit of luck on the day.
2) You've had quite a summer transfer window, surely anything less than promotion is a failure?
Probably yes, having gone so close last year I think Gibson is looking to drag us kicking and screaming into the Premier League this summer, before the gulf between the divisions becomes to wide.
3) What effect has the return of Stewart Downing had on the club?
Its been a huge statement of intent from us and its had a real galvanising effect on both the team, the fans, and the area. Lets face it, he could have walked into any number of Prem teams but 'chose' to come home and that can't be underestimated. Returning players are usually at the fag end of their career but this time he's pretty much at the height of his powers, if I was one of our forwards I'd be expecting 20 goals at least.
4) David Nugent, Christian Stuani and Kike, are you happy with that strike force?
There are a lot of unknown quantities with that bunch. Nugent 'should' bag 15-20 goals (but will he?). Kike tends blow hot and cold (can he find consistency?). Stuani looks the part and with Downing supplying the bullets should score a lot of goals, but you never know how things are gonna pan out. Basically only Kike remains from last season so its too early to say if im happy with all three just yet.
5) Bolton are getting linked with Mustafa Carayol on loan this morning, he any good?
He is actually, you'll get a very tidy player if he signs, its probably his attitude thats kept him out of our team rather than talent.
6) Aside from the obvious, which players cause the most danger for the Whites on Saturday?
If Wildschut plays he is incredibly quick, so could catch you out at the back.
7) What type of football can we expect from Boro?
8) You didn't have the best of starts against PNE. What went wrong? Concerned or just early season rustiness?
Same problem we've been trying to sort all summer, that we havent adequetly replaced Bamford yet, although with Nugent signing today let hope thats sorted now.
9) How do you see the game unfolding on Saturday?
Its gonna be all out attack I reckon, so many players will be wanting to make a point to the manager. The crowd might get frustrated the longer it goes without goals though, as expectation is going to be high, not because of the opposition but because of all the signings.
10) Which, if any, Bolton players are you worried could hurt you?
Emile Heskey, I hate that man, ruined our day at Wembley vs Leicester and I've never forgiven him. Would be absolutely typical if he scored.
11) Finally, what's your prediction for the game?
3-0 Boro (sorry).