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Player Ratings: Bolton Wanderers 2-1 Fleetwood Town

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3 wins on the bounce and it feels so good

Bolton Wanderers v Fleetwood Town - Sky Bet Leauge One Photo by Andrew Kearns - CameraSport via Getty Images

For the first time since March 2017, Wanderers have recorded three wins on the bounce. In terms of performance, I thought it was far from the levels we have seen since Hill and Flitcroft came into the club. With that being said, I thought it demonstrated the willingness to dig in and grind out a much needed and arguably our most important win in a long while.

So how did the lads get on?

Remi Matthews - 8

After a pretty quiet game, Remi remained focused to ensure the Whites came away with all three points. He even came away with a black eye and four stitches for his effort. His distribution to his defenders is improving every week, showing his previous critics wrong that he isn't always a long ball merchant. Nothing could have prevented Josh Morris’ 85th minute strike nestling into the back of the Wanderers goal. After an onslaught for the latter part of the second half, Remi made a crucial save at the death to keep out Danny Andrew’s header.

Josh Emmanuel - 7.5

Solid as ever. An integral part of this side and an ever-improving relationship and understanding developing with Joe Dodoo and it’s a pleasure to see. His marauding attacking runs are powerful and precise. Defensively he kept Paddy Madden quiet on their left hand side.

Yoan Zouma - 7

Zouma benefited from the experience of Jake Wright alongside him and did well against the experience of Ched Evans. I’d be lying if I said that I had complete faith in him every time he has the ball at his feet and looks to start one of his advances into the heights of the middle of the park. But, after Keith Hill’s comments midweek, this was a much more composed performance from the young Frenchman. Will “Zoom Zoom” grow to become a future captain of this club, as per Hill’s wishes?

Jake Wright - 6.5

A nice surprise return to the team sheet for the Sheffield United loanee. Added much needed experience alongside Zouma and helped limit his former teammate Evans’ impact on the game. I thought he struggled at times, but I would only put this down to lack of match sharpness.

Adam Chicksen - 7

I was sat there in the first half thinking this was Chicksen’s worst game for us - and he wasn't even having a bad game! Mr Consistent was at it again, more so in the second half, winning every tackle he attempted and worked hard up the left flank to give Chris O’Grady some much needed support for the latter stages. We will really miss him if and when he goes on international duty in the upcoming weeks.

Luke Murphy - 7.5

After losing Bridcutt, I feared the worst for our midfield. I wasn't convinced Lowe would be able to keep up his high standards in a deeper role and I thought we would struggle with whoever came in to play the more advanced of the pair. Murphy has proven in recent weeks that he is good enough and looks to be enjoying his football again. His understanding with Lowe is good and is a huge bonus for us at the moment.

Jason Lowe - 9

Man of the match. Player of the season so far. A faultless performance from our skipper. Limited a hardworking Fleetwood midfield and used his experience to urge others on and offer support to those around him. You can see that Lowey gives it his all every time he puts on that Wanderers shirt, he covered every blade of grass on Saturday. A genuine nice guy who cares about the local community and about this club. The day he scores his first goal for us will be a very good day.

Joe Dodoo - 8

The partnership with Emmanuel is developing and the best part is, I don't think we've got the best out of them yet. Dodoo showed his class in the first half with a terrific piece of skill that took out two Fleetwood defenders before cutting the ball back for Verlinden to narrowly miss the target. He continued to cause trouble down the right hand side and assisted Daryl Murphy’s goal with a great return pass into space. Very impressive opening few games for our newest recruit.

Thibaud Verlinden - 6.5

Another nice surprise to see back in the starting eleven. Dare I say it was too soon? I think Verlinden would have been more effective coming on in the second half to run at, and challenge, the tiring Fleetwood defence. Replaced by Politic early in the second half, Thibaud wasn't as effective as we've seen at times this season. He’ll be back to his best in the coming weeks.

Chris O’Grady - 8.5

Thierry, I mean Chris O’Grady was nothing short of great. He looks so unorthodox every time he gets the ball, but he is very effective. His tireless pressing in the first half looked reflective of an 18 year old, not a Football League stalwart with over 500 professional appearances. His goal was great. Okay so it wasn't as technically superb as Crawford’s free kick against Rochdale, but it shows exactly how Keith Hill wants us to play out of possession. It demonstrates that the players have bought into his philosophy and believe in his methods. A great start to his Wanderers career.

Daryl Murphy - 8.5

I struggle to believe he is 36 years old. To use a Keith Hill reference, his intelligent energy is second to none. He knows exactly when to use his turn of pace, his movement off the ball is great to watch from a tactical point of view. A very well taken goal on his weaker right foot, from an acute angle shows his goalscoring ability. He is going to be vitally important on our quest for survival.

Substitues

Dennis Politic - 6

Sub-subbed. Rather harshly if you ask me. Ostracised by being pushed out to the right hand side, when all traffic was down the left. Would have liked Dennis to have received the ball more, but glad that his late withdrawal didn't seem to knock his confidence after he shook hands with Hill and Flicker upon his return to the bench after his long walk round the field. (Really not a fan of that, btw) Politic, Verlinden, O’Grady, Murphy and Dodoo is a nice rotational group for those front four positions.

Sonny Graham - N/A

Did he touch the ball? Honestly cannot remember.