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Darren Pratley - We've got 13 cup finals left

24 February 2016

Club captain demands strong finish to the season from Wanderers squad

Following Bolton Wanderers' narrow defeat to Birmingham City on Tuesday night, Darren Pratley has demanded the Whites finish the season strongly.

Clayton Donaldson's first half strike was the difference between the two sides at St. Andrews, as the Whites' wait for a first away win of the season continued.

And with 13 matches left of the campaign, Pratley has called on his team-mates to have no regrets come the end of the season as they look to climb the Sky Bet Championship table.

“I don’t think it was a great game,” the Bolton captain told bwfc.co.uk after the final whistle. “It was very scrappy and both teams were in it. 

“There wasn’t too many chances and I think perhaps a point would have been a fair result.

“We got done on the counter attack which is disappointing from our point of view. Ahead of the game, we’d watched a video on them and knew that it was going to be their main strength, breaking from our set pieces, and they’ve managed to score from it.

“I thought, all things aside, the boys played well in the game. We kept the ball, we were patient and we had to employ Zach as a target man which isn’t his normal game, but I thought he did brilliantly.

“When you’ve got a smaller target man, your priority remains in keeping the ball well and I think we did that.

"The performances away from home have been better, but we don’t want to go all season without winning on our travels – that could be disastrous for us.

"We’ve got 13 games left though and we need to start picking up points away from home.

"I don’t think it’s that far away – ultimately, tonight we were up against a side who are pushing for the top six, so to come to St Andrew’s and play arguably the better football in the game speaks volumes."

Pratley continued: "We have to keep believing – until it’s impossible, we’ll keep fighting and we showed that against Birmingham who are a very good side.

"If there was no confidence or belief, you wouldn’t go to Birmingham and try and play football – there’s confidence around which is massively important inside these final few months.

"We have 13 cup finals, starting with Burnley at home on Saturday which will be a hard game but we need to start picking up points.

"All the boys believe and the fans are still behind us which we thank them for, especially those who made the trip on Tuesday evening. We need them to stay with us though.

"The fans have been amazing for us – with everything that has gone on, it’s been probably the most negative season they’ve ever experienced both on and off the field, but for them to keep coming and cheering is a massive boost.

"We need some positive vibes around the club and hopefully we can bring that by staying in this division."

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