Just like the last time Bolton Wanderers visited Deepdale the viewers in the ground and on Sky Sports were treated to a very poor game between two sides who on this evidence will both be towards the bottom end of the table come the end of the season. Neither side created much by means of clear-cut chances but there were some good displays in a thoroughly uneventful game. Here’s how our boys fared on Friday night:
Ben Alnwick 7
Had nothing to do but was a calming and solid presence in the Bolton net. I was particularly impressed with his ability under the high ball, something Mark Howard has struggled with in the past. He is our undisputed Number 1.
Mark Little 7
Back to form for Little after a couple of shakier performances. His link up with Ameobi is very pleasing and will help us enormously going forward. Little is and will remain I’m sure a mainstay in this Bolton team.
David Wheater 8
Did very well against a strong and pacy customer in Stephy Mavididi and a dreadful free-kick attempt aside put in an almost faultless performance. He was rewarded with a much deserved clean sheet at last.
Mark Beevers 8
See above. He’ll be a big miss against Reading, we can only hope that Reece Burke finds some of his early season form to replace him. It’s good to see him back to his best.
Antonee Robinson 6.5
I like him the more I see him play but while he provided an outlet going forward his final ball was often dreadful. If this can be improved he’ll be a useful weapon for us. It was also nice to see his improvement defensively, something he has clearly worked on.
Karl Henry 6
Probably his least effective performance for Bolton yet he still had a solid game. One feels that Bolton without Karl Henry would have lost this game. My only concern is the number of bookings he is racking up before a number of big games which we will certainly need him for.
Darren Pratley 6
Had a decent game off the ball but on it he was too negative and frustrating to watch. I wonder if Derik might be better in this role given there is minimal difference between Pratley and himself defensively, but Derik is undoubtedly a better passer. Something for Parky to ponder I think.
Sammy Ameobi 7.5
A shame that his final ball wasn’t brilliant because almost everything else he did was fantastic. His first touch is immaculate, he beat opposing players with ease and is the one we always look to as an out ball. We must pray he stays fit.
Josh Vela 6
Didn’t get into the game at all due to Preston’s neutralisation of Madine. The role he plays is to pick up on the big man’s scraps and with no scraps means nothing for Vela to do. He’s better than this and needs to try and play independently.
Adam Armstrong 6
As I’ve said before, I want him to do well but I’m just not sure it’s going to work for him on the left-wing. Parky said post-match that he played there at Coventry and did well but what he fails to notice is that upon being shunted onto the wing during his spell in the Midlands his regular supply of goals dried up. He’s a striker out of form on the wing, not a good mix in my view.
Gary Madine 5
By far his worst performance of the season and certainly a week to forget for Madine. Both Doyle and Huntington doubled up on him all game and he won possibly 2 headers at most. He’ll bounce back I’m sure but you have to worry that Preston found him so easy to deal with.
Will Buckley 6
Didn’t do an awful lot and still looks short of fitness. I’m not sure if he is the man to replace Armstrong if Parky wants to change things and maybe Craig Noone is the answer.
Filipe Morais n/a
Barely touched the ball bar taking corners.