I will confess, I was rather disappointed when the team sheet was announced to see that Phil Parkinson had switched to two up front but left Christian Doidge on the bench.
I felt that Clayton Donaldson and Josh Magennis offer something fairly similar up top, and that alongside the big hard men we could have used Doidge’s positional awareness and eye for goal.
On being introduced to the fray Donaldson and Doidge showed just that. The big man’s flick down was straight into the path of Doidge who finished wonderfully. Dare I say that the former Forest Green Rovers man has replaced Adam Le Fondre as the only natural finisher in our squad?
It is a trait that Parkinson does not value as highly as graft and physical presence up top. That view has brought us this far and when you are playing one up top it is a value judgement which has to be made with the players we have. Once you swap to two up front though, you buy yourself the luxary of having both, and I think Bolton Wanderers’ equaliser showed that needs to be taken advantage of.
We have been rather goal shy since our return to the Championship. By my reconing only three times have we scored more than twice. They were the 3-3 draw at Sunderland, the 3-1 win against Barnsley and the all important 3-2 win over Nottingham Forest. In the most part if we win it is 1-0.
That is all well and good, so long as you maintain clean sheets. When those dry up, so do the points. This is Bolton’s constant problem at this level. We have to keep teams out to register maximum points and we cannot always count on that, we need the peices in place to concede and win.
We saw a glimpse of what Doidge up top with the big man could look like at the weekend, and I for one would like to see that again against Forest and Hull City. Two home games against teams who can be beaten need to be take advantage of and points simply must be won.
Magennis or Donaldson up top with Doidge would be my pick, do you agree? Let me know in the comments!