Setting The Scene
Dougie Freedman’s men will be hoping to secure back-to-back victories on Saturday when Wanderers travel to the Midlands to take on Nottingham Forest.
The Trotters claimed the bragging rights against near-neighbours Burnley last weekend, when second-half strikes from Craig Davies and David Ngog helped the Whites comeback from a goal down to claim all three points.
Now Wanderers travel south to face Forest, a club that certainly hasn’t lacked incident during the 2012/13 campaign.
There were high hopes in the summer when the Kuwaiti Al-Hasawi family completed a takeover of the club. Their first act was to remove Steve Cotterill from the managerial hot-seat and appoint Sean O’Driscoll, despite the former Bournemouth and Doncaster chief leaving his role as Cotterill’s number two to take over Crawley Town a matter of weeks prior.
Despite a steady start to his tenure, a 4-2 Boxing Day victory over Leeds United was to be O’Driscoll’s final game at the helm. He was immediately replaced by Alex McLeish, but the Scot’s reign was to be even shorter, lasting just 40 days.
The Forest hierarchy made their third managerial appointment in six months when they handed former boss Billy Davies the reins, much to the delight of many Reds supporters.
On his arrival, Davies admitted he felt that he had some unfinished business at the club he was dismissed from in the summer of 2011. His target will now be to work with the new owners to bring Premier League football back to the City Ground for the first time since their relegation to the Football League in 1999.
One To Watch- Billy Sharp
Billy Sharp is a proven goalscorer, and has found the net 129 times in 247 career league starts.
The Yorkshire-born poacher began his career with hometown club Sheffield United but only made two substitute appearances before being sold to Scunthorpe United for £100,000 in 2005. After two productive years at Glanford Park, Sharp returned to the Blades but again struggled for consistency and was loaned out to Doncaster.
His form for Rovers persuaded Sean O’Driscoll to make the move permanent, paying over £1m for his services. He continued to flourish and earned the respect of the nation in November 2011 when he played a game just two days after the death of his new-born son.
A move to high-flying Southampton materialised in last season’s January transfer window, but when the South Coast club clinched promotion to the Premier League Nigel Adkins was unable to guarantee Sharp regular first team football. He decided to head out on loan and linked up with O’Driscoll again, this time at the City Ground.
Keith Andrews will miss the trip to Nottingham, as the Irishman remains sidelined with a thigh problem.
Stuart Holden and David Wheater could both feature, with the pair continuing to build fitness by completing 90 minutes for the development squad against Bury on Monday night. Mark Davies is also back in contention after recovering from a shoulder injury.
Medo could be in line to make his Wanderers debut after also coming through the game against the Shakers unscathed, but the City Ground clash will come too soon for Matt Mills who continues to step up his recovery from the hamstring injury he picked up at Huddersfield back in December.
|Nottingham Forest Wins||Draws||Bolton Wins|
Man In The Middle - Keith Stroud
The Hampshire-based official has shown an average of 3.5 yellow cards per game throughout the 2012/13 season. In total, he has taken charge of 24 matches and made 85 bookings. He has also shown three players a red card, most recently Middlesbrough’s Curtis Main in the Teessiders’ midweek Championship clash with Leeds at the Riverside.
Tickets will be available for Bolton fans to buy on the day of the game. Adults tickets will cost an extra £2 more whilst there will be no under-12 tickets available.