Darren Pratley - Cup run can generate momentum

Skipper hopeful of maintaining recent positive run of results by securing progress in Emirates FA Cup this weekend

Darren Pratley is hoping a positive FA Cup run can go hand-in-hand with the club’s league form.

Wanderers host Leeds United in the fourth round of the Emirates FA Cup at Macron Stadium on Saturday, before three days later travelling to Wolves to resume league combat.

And after scoring in Bolton’s back-to-back wins against Eastleigh and MK Dons, Pratley believes a positive FA Cup run can help generate momentum towards the team’s primary target for the season.

“It’s another big game and it takes our attention away from what’s going on in the league,” the skipper told bwfc.co.uk. “We want to progress in the competition – it’s important on a number of levels.

“We know our main aim is to remain in the league, but if we can win against Leeds it’ll give us plenty of confidence going into the game against Wolves on Tuesday.

“With the financial situation the club is in at the moment, a cup run would obviously be beneficial. It would be nice if we could progress and land a big away game.

“It has been nice to score a few goals in recent games, but the main thing is that the team carry on winning and gaining more confidence.”

Bolton’s have already locked horns with Steve Evans’ Leeds at Macron Stadium this season, with both sides sharing the spoils in a 1-1 draw.

And with the return league fixture at Elland Road due at the beginning of the March, Pratley says that despite facing more familiar opposition the players’ approach to the game would not differ.

He added: “We’ll approach the Leeds game as we have done every game this season. Eastleigh were tough opposition in the last round and they had a group of players with Championship and League One experience.

“When we played Leeds earlier in the season we believe we should have won the game. We were unlucky and we gave away a penalty towards the end of the game.

“We obviously know Leeds a little bit better than we did Eastleigh, and we know it’ll be another difficult test for us. They will bring a lot of fans and there will be a good atmosphere down at the stadium.

“The fans have been good, both home and away. We the home fans on side once again and I’m sure there will be another good atmosphere at the stadium.”

Press conference: Neil Lennon pre-Leeds

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