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Question Time: Preston North End with @O_DawesSport

We speak to PNE fan Olly Dawes

Harry Trump/Getty Images

Bolton Wanderers will play the first game of a new era this Saturday, the first game under new ownership. While that whole awful affair may now be behind us, the problems on the pitch certainly aren't, but a win against  Preston North End on Saturday sure would go along way to start the change there, too.

We spoke to PNE fan Olly Dawes about the game:

1) You've had a brilliant season. What has been the main factor behind this?

It's definitely been a weird season. We've scored fewer than a goal a game, but sit up in tenth place. Much of our success is down to a great defence, as with 15 clean sheets and only 33 goals conceded, we've been exceptional for a promoted team. We have a core of players who have played together for a while now, work hard for each other and a manager who has made us hard to beat. Solid without being spectacular, is probably how you'd describe us.

2) Did you anticipate doing so well, or had you set yourself up for a season of struggle?

I really thought that finishing 21st by one point or even one goal would have been a huge achievement. I expected a season battling against relegation, and instead we've been safe for a few weeks now. Without spending tons of money, we've managed to compete with some huge clubs this season, so now the challenge is making sure this season isn't a one-off.


3) How have you dealt with the absence of Jermaine Beckford and the form of Garner in terms of goalscoring?

We seem to de just enough to win games, and goals have been coming from a host of different players. In recent weeks we've had Garner, Adam Reach, Callum Robinson, Alan Browne and Daniel Johnson all find the net, and that's kind of been the way for most of the season. No player has really dominated the goalscoring for us and we've shared the goals around well, but you wonder where we'd be if we did have Beckford fit.


4) Do you think Preston can reach the Play Offs?

I think if we'd won against either Brighton or Forest, we'd have been in with a great shout. It's not impossible yet, but one point from the last two games has just set us back a little. Sheffield Wednesday are having a bit of a wobble, but I'd be surprised if we make it - there are much better teams in contention.

5) What has been your view of Bolton's season both on and off the pitch?

A lot of Preston fans have enjoyed Bolton's struggles, but it's been sad to see for me. It's hard to see a club go through those kind of problems, and you have to think how you'd feel in a similar situation. Also, having local rivals gives you games to look forward to, and losing one like Bolton would be a blow for the fans, really - hence the huge travelling support this weekend - even if they like to poke fun at Wanderers.


6) Are there any Bolton players you particularly admire?

I can't profess to have seen much of Bolton this season, but I thought David Wheater was excellent against us back in October and on that performance I'd love to have him here. Zach Clough is obviously a hugely talented player but well out of our price range, and Josh Vela is another player who I'd like here, maybe a Mark Davies too.


7) Do you think Bolton can survive this season?

I really hope Bolton do survive, the more local games, the better! Ten points adrift is a huge gap though, and time is certainly running out. Hopefully the takeover news will give the whole club a boost and the players can put a run together, but I have to say it's looking pretty bleak.

8) What's your prediction for the game?

We're struggling to score goals again, and Joe Garner is out suspended, so I really don't fancy our chances. I can't see there being many goals, so I'll go for a 1-1 draw.