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Match Preview: Barrow vs Bolton Wanderers

Ian Evatt returns to his old club with both clubs languishing at the bottom of the table

Bolton Wanderers v Oldham Athletic - Sky Bet League Two Photo by Andrew Kearns - CameraSport via Getty Images

Game Day 20/10/2020 Kick off - 19:00

If you had told me I would be previewing this game at the start of the season I certainly wouldn’t have thought we would have been occupying similar positions in the league by this point. After a last minute goal from Oldham Athletic, Bolton Wanderers have now only won 1, drawn 1 and lost 6 in the league leaving us 20th in the table.

Barrow have one point less than ourselves sitting in 22nd position but have yet to win a game. Despite this they have conceded less and scored more than Bolton which shines a light on just how poor we have been. At the start of the season the great majority of fans and pundits would have had this down as a likely Bolton win but Barrow will certainly draw confidence from how (former) bottom of the league, Oldham fared against us on Saturday.

The game presents a different edge given that Evatt is facing his former employers, a team he got promoted. Whilst this will certainly add a bit of incentive to the Barrow players to perform that bit better it also presents a small advantage to us. Evatt knows the vast majority of that squad very well and will hopefully be able to utilise that insight to our benefit.

Bolton didn’t seem to encounter any new injuries on Saturday although it has been confirmed Shaun Miller will be off for longer than first thought after breaking down in training. Mo Faal, Denis Politic and Tom White remain long term absentees.

All eyes will be on whether Ronan Darcy gets any minutes or even a start after Evatt claimed he wanted to see more from the home grown player (comments he later attributed to being emotional after the game). Most fans have been bemused as to why he hasn’t had his shot in a midfield crying out for a player in his mould.

I wouldn’t bet against wholesale changes after Evatt publicly lambasted the effort shown by the XI on Saturday. With that said the later comments that we ‘snatched defeat from the jaws of victory’ give me and unsettling feeling we won’t see the scale of change required. At the moment we have a system that breaks down when we try to transition from midfield to attack and until he changes the personnel in that system or the system itself, I can see the same performances persisting.

I certainly wasn’t as positive as most before the Oldham game but I do think a result could be on the cards here. It’ll almost certainly be scrappy but I do think losing in such a way as we did will illicit some response from the team.