The season has not started as many of us had expected it to. ‘HMS P**s The League’ has quickly stalled but you’d be forgiven for thinking it had hit an iceberg and sunk given the mood online. Despite the doom and gloom this will only be our 3rd league game of the season and we did show glimpses of improvement in our last game. Ian Evatt and the team will be itching to get 3 points but they face a tough challenge against Newport County.
Newport have had a great start to the season. They are unbeaten in the league having drawn one game and winning another. This almost pales in to comparison to their cup success earlier in the week, beating Watford 3-1. It remains to be seen whether this midweek, high intensity win against a far higher quality opponent will be a negative or positive for Bolton. It is possible Newport could be both worn out by the midweek game and suffering the hangover that can also accompany a big game. It could also be the case that they will ride the wave of good feeling and play with sky high confidence.
Kick off will be at 15:00 at the University of Bolton Stadium. The stadium will remain empty due to the reintroduction of fans being halted. The game will be on ifollow and we have seen how much revenue this generates for the club. Hopefully we see plenty of people tuning in and swelling the club coffers.
Evatt did change his system in the last game from his preferred 5-3-2. He instead tried a 4-2-3-1/4-3-3 system which did seem to alleviate some of the teams ills. Once again we were undone by defensive errors in spite of dominating possession and equalling the amount of shots Colchester had. It will be interesting to see if Evatt sticks with this or reverts to his old favourite.
As for the team, Wanderers only got 2 shots on target from 10. Evatt this week has spoken of the need to get more clinical and feels that one goal might just open the floodgates for our potentially potent strikers. With that said he might just mix it up to see if a different combination works. He might also be tempted to drop Santos, one of the main culprits when it comes to switching off at the back. George Taft has been on the bench the last 2 games and so might just get his first start of the season.
There are no new injuries from last week. Anotni Sarcevic and Denis Politic remain out. There has been no update on Shaun Miller, Muhammadu Faal and Liam Edwards who have all be carrying injuries and missed previous games.
I think we’ll continue to improve steadily under Evatt. I buy in to what he’s doing and this was always going to take a while to ingrain in to the squad. Newport will be feeling good but I wouldn’t bet against a cup hangover. I’m thinking a 1-1 or 2-2 draw.