Remi Matthews 5
Seemed to struggle in communicating with his centre backs early on and whilst the delivery was of high quality for the first Southend goal, it is always a concern when an attacker can be so free in the penalty area to nod home. Matthews paid the price for this as from then in he was the target of each Southend set piece, a challange he matched up to. Also stitched up his centre-back Jake Wright shortly before the first goal with an inexplicably risky short pass.
Josh Emmanuel 7
Good performance from Emmanuel as he recovered from his costly mistake at Peterborough. He is forming an effective partnership down the right with the ever-improving Joe Dodoo
Jake Wright 5
Really struggled against the very lively Stephen Humphrys and was exposed without the pace of Zouma to accompany him. We have a young squad, so of course there is if course room for an experienced head but you have to pull your weight.
Liam Bridcutt 6
Really hard to judge Bridcutt here as he shouldn’t be playing centre back but gave it a right go. There were a few really good contributions with the ball that can be expected from the player who is possibly the most gifted player we’ve had since being relegated from the Premier League. The Forest loanee struggled with the physical aspect of Southend which seemed to be a particular strength with the aforementioned Humphrys really causing problems. Bridcutt challanged but lacked the physicallity and as a result gave away too many fouls.
Josh Earl 6
I like Earl and he did well but I feel he is more resourceful in the middle. He doesn’t seem as naturally prone to getting forward as other left backs. Decent performace though from a young player likely to go onto bigger and better things
Jason Lowe 5
Lowe has been one of Bolton’s better players this season but this was not his best game. The former Blackburn man gave the ball away far too many times in midfield as Bolton struggled to get a grip of the game. Defensively, he was as solid as ever.
Luke Murphy 7
What a strike from Murphy who once again demonstrated he is a player of high technical ability. I just wish he would get more involved in the game as I feel he could be a key player for us. It seems as though Lowe is constantly available for the ball but Murphy isn’t. If it was the other way round, we would be better off.
Ronan Darcy 6
Always lively, always threatening but it wasn’t quite happening for Darcy who in my opinion is our best young prospect. The young Wanderers is brave in possesion and seems to thrive in the number 10 position and is willing to move around the pitch to make things happen. It wasn’t that he was particulary poor but when your looking to create, it doesn’t always come off.
Joe Dodoo 8
Proving to be a shrewd signing and showing I have no clue what I’m on about, Dodoo played well again, once he was reverted back onto the right hand side he has made his own since his later arrival. Even when we are not playing well, Dodoo has the capacity to make something happen and his goal was taken very well indeed.
Thibaud Verlinden 7
Quieter in the first half but brilliant at times in the second, Verlinden does seem to thrive against more fatigued defenders. His trickery is brilliant and crucially productive as often once displacing the defender, he will get the cross in. I really like Verlinden and I worry we will miss him if he departs home for Stoke.
Daryl Murphy 9
I’ve seen it suggested that Murphy had a quiet yesterday afternoon. Personally, I can’t really see what else he could do for the Bolton cause. A match winning goal and assist in a game were Bolton were on the back foot once again demonstrated just how important Murphy is to Bolton moving forward. His goal is a thing of beauty, he sets himself up for a potential mistake whilst everyone else in the stadium is simply watching on. When Timothee Dieng makes a hash of a simple pass to feet, Murphy is able to latch on quickly and give Dieng no chance to recover before slotting home like he has his entire career, winning the game. Brilliant.