Phil Parkinson made numerous changes to the side that lost at home to Birmingham City midweek, with Antonee Robinson, Mark Little, David Wheater, Jem Karacan and Aaron Wilbraham all starting in a 3-5-2 formation.
The new look Wanderers went 1-0 down just six minutes into the game, as Alex Pearce was unmarked to head home from a corner.
Derby extended their lead just after the half hour mark. Ben Alnwick made a smart stop to deny David Nugent, but Matěj Vydra was in the right place to bury the rebound.
You could say that Bolton were very lucky to be only two down at half time. The side looked dejected, completely void of ideas. They offered nothing going forward.
Parky made a double change at the break, with Craig Noone and Sammy Ameobi coming on to replace Wilbraham and Reece Burke.
Unfortunately, Derby’s Tom Lawrence scored a third ten minutes into the second half.
Wanderers did begin to create chances towards the end of the game, and were unlucky not to pull at least one back.
First, Mark Beevers forced Scott Carson into a couple great saves, before David Wheater had a goalbound effort blocked.
The game ended in defeat, though it’s a result that many expected prior to kick off.
With Barnsley beating Sheffield United and Birmingham snatching a last minute point, Wanderers are now 21st in the table, just two points above the relegation places.
Also, Barnsley have a game in hand. Great stuff.
There are now just five games remaining in this season. It’s vital that Wanderers try to pick up points in every game (obviously).
Tuesday’s game won’t be easy. Millwall are just a point outside the Play-Off places, so they’ll be desperate to win at The Macron.
The game that really matters is next Saturday’s trip to Oakwell. Anything other than a win against Barnsley would really be disastrous.
Maybe it’s time that Chinedu Obasi is given a chance? Maybe a return to 4-2-3-1? It’s up to Phil Parkinson to decide.
Wanderers need to figure out how to win again, quickly.
We go again Tuesday.