It may be only our second home loss of the season but a loss is a loss. We were playing a team without a win in 10, only one other league away win this season and who found themselves in the lower echelon of League 1, to say this result is a bad one is an understatement.
We started with an unchanged team with both Josh Vela and James Henry passing fitness tests after illness and injury this week; a questionable decision.
The first half was one of the flattest we have seen this season. No one grabbed the game by the scruff of the neck and lacked urgency. Possible explanations to this will follow shortly.
The second half although more exciting was a bad half for the Wanderers. Despite the dismal final result, the half started brightly for Bolton with a David Wheater goal pretty soon after the break. Hopes that this would kick a tired and perhaps complacent Wanderers in to the top gear we've enjoyed them in this year, alas no. Chelsea loanee, Galdwin scored a long range, deflected effort midway through the half. Swindon and Bolton battled for the winner and in fairness we rattled the post through James Henry and saw a few other efforts squandered. In true 'vintage' Bolton style it would be Swindon who finally take the win with a late goal in the 89th minute.
This isn't the first time we've suffered against teams at the lower end and I've spoken about why I think this is before. Phil Parkinson tries too hard to put out the same team every game. We've had a busy winter schedule, extra cup games and this week 2 players who were major doubts and yet we've stuck rigidly to the same 11. I'm not asking for large changes, 1 player to come in and try and impress when a player needs a rest or isn't in the best of conditions is all it takes to stop complacency against poorer teams. That's what it felt like today, complacency.
Another possible reason could be the lack of Sammy Ameobi. The right midfielder was sorely missed today as we lacked that player to just do 'something'. A lot of the time that something ended up with Sammy losing possession but on the times his madness did pay off it lifted the tempo of the whole team. We missed that spark today. Hopefully Anderson and co. can sort getting that spark back.
We now on to Palace which will no doubt spark another debate. Focus on the League or a show of strength in the cups?