I’m (probably naively) optimistic, perhaps that comes with my slowly going youth. I’m sure there are more experienced wanderers fans who have seen it all before and have accepted that we are already getting relegated into League Two. But anyone who was at the Nottingham Forest game at the end of the 17/18 season will know that anything is possible. Will we see something similar again and can Bolton Wanderers do the impossible and overturn a -12 point deduction to stay up this season?
Recently, The Trotters finally recorded their first win in 206 days against Bristol Rovers in the league, which has impressively been built upon with a victory against Manchester City u21s in the EFL Trophy. It’s all good but Keith Hill’s team need to carry on this form in the league to get into positive points and maybe, just maybe start to climb the table.
Bristol Rovers manager Graham Coughlan said after their loss: “That Bolton team will stay up this year and that Bolton team will probably get promoted next season, such as the strengths that they have in their squad.” However for us to actually stay up, what would be required?
The lucky number for the past few seasons in League One to avoid the drop has been about 50 points. With Wanderers currently sitting on a pretty -5, that would mean we need 55 points from a remaining 34 games. Therefore, Bolton would need 1.62 points per game. A couple of wins on the bounce and that average number would drop significantly. But that’s no easy challenge.
Hill’s men have started to build something hopeful but have so far grinded out a lot of draws. Bolton now have a couple of home games in a row so it looks likely that the current momentum could continue. One thing that Bolton are up against however is the ever growing injury list, with Crawford suffering with a potentially serious knee injury from Tuesday night’s game. Furthermore, Liam Bridcutt, the diamond in the rough at the start of the season, is also out of action, leaving Wanderers low on midfield options. Games will be coming thick and fast as we approach the Christmas and New Year period, which could bring even more injuries.
The poor squad depth that Bolton currently have to offer could prove to be our downfall this season. Though there’s always a chance, right?