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In quotes: Bolton Wanderers v Sheffield United

7 August 2016

bwfc.co.uk rounds up manger, player and local press post-match reaction after Wanderers' opening day victory over the Blades

Wanderers opened their 2016/17 Sky Bet League One campaign with a 1-0 victory over Sheffield United as Jay Spearing's memorable volley secured all three points at Macron Stadium. Rounding up the managers, players and local press' post-match reaction alike, bwfc.co.uk offers the final word on Saturday's match...



How bwfc.co.uk saw it...
Wanderers kicked off the 2016/17 Sky Bet League One campaign with victory over Sheffield United at Macron Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

The deadlock was broken with just seven minutes of the first half remaining, with Jay Spearing volleying home in spectacular style from 20 yards.

And despite being forced to play the final stages of the clash with ten men after Darren Pratley was stretchered off, they managed to stave off a late onslaught and pick up all three points.

It’s always good to get the points on the board. We’re not going to get carried away but I’m pleased for the players because the effort they put in today and throughout pre-season has been rewarded.

When you’ve been part of a group that hasn’t won, you’ve got to learn as a group to win. There was a lot of resilience and it was a great goal to win it. 

We wanted to make a statement in front of our home fans regarding our commitment levels and how we want to play. 

It’s about winning, rolling your sleeves up and working as a team. Those qualities were in place today and I’m so pleased. 

I felt we did that. We know there are things that we can get better at but the desire was firmly in place and that is what ultimately got us the win.

How Jay Spearing saw it...
Sheffield United are a good side with a good following. They put us under pressure and created chances but we worked hard as a team, got through the game and got the goal to win the game. 

We grew into it more in the second half and worked hard to get the three points.

There were times today during the game when the fans were singing, clapping and cheering and you could see smiles on people’s faces that made everything worthwhile.

It’s so apparent that this club is full of passion and I’m so proud of our fans. I’m happy for the manager too, so well done to him and the players today. 

We got after the ball and put them under pressure, but Jay (Spearing) showed his quality with the goal he scored, which ultimately proved to be the difference.

They want to play a certain way, we want to be different, but they go home the happier club, the happier fans and Phil (Parkinson) will be delighted to have won the game.

When you're on top and have got the momentum in your favour, you've got to take your chances. Unfortunately we didn't and that's what has cost us in the end.

A fanstastic start to the season for Phil Parkinson in his first game in charge. Wonderful way to win a game. Jay Spearing's volley was fit to grace any division in the world. 

It was a nail-biter towards the end. Wanderers had already made all three of their substitutions when Darren Pratley went off with a very nasty looking injury. 

They were left with ten men for a good 20 minutes but they dug in and held on, and I think they did it fairly comfortably.  

Jay Spearing's goal, scored during the closing stages of a first-half the visitors had largely dominated, proved enough to settle this hard-fought League One fixture between two clubs fancied to mount promotion challenges. 

Bolton, who grew in stature after the break, finished the afternoon with 10 men when Darren Pratley succumbed to injury after three changes had been made.

United, tough in the tackle and extremely tenacious, did most of the running while Bolton looked to exploit their physical prowess. 

As the contest wore on, so United's play became more ragged. Whether it was a symptom of their urgency, Bolton's power or a combination of both was unclear. 

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