Defender looking forward to next week's League One opener after challenging pre-season
Lawrie Wilson is looking forward to again lining up against higher-division opposition as Wanderers host Preston North End on Saturday.
The 28-year-old was the only Whites player to play the full 90 minutes in their midweek defeat to Premier League Burnley, starting in midfield before dropping back into his natural right-back position.
And with just a week to go until the start of the 2016/17 Sky Bet League One season, Wilson believes the Bolton squad are in good shape ahead of their final pre-season outing against the Lilywhites.
“In pre-season it’s good to face the higher-division teams because it’s a sterner test,” the defender told bwfc.co.uk. “You need to be compact because they keep it well and are very good on the ball.
“After playing Burnley, Preston will be another great test for us and it’s another local derby. These two home friendlies have been good games for us to play just before the start of the season.
“The squad’s looking really good too. We’re feeling fit and strong and are showing that we can compete for the full 90 minutes.
“It’s also very nice to be back at Macron Stadium. The pitch is looking great and it is great to play in front of our own fans again.”
Wilson was also full of praise for his new manager when reflecting on the Trotters’ midweek defeat to Burnley, highlighting the work that has been going on behind the scenes in preparation for the new season.
“It was frustrating to fall behind in the last few minutes,” he said. “We could have got another goal before they got the winner at the end, but overall I think a draw would have been a fair result.
“Last year we found it difficult when we fell behind in games, but today showed what our spirit is about.
“The management have asked that, especially on our home turf, we don’t let our heads drop if we fall behind. We keep giving it everything we’ve got and try and nick a goal.”
He continued: “At half-time the gaffer said to us to press and play higher and it worked terrifically. We caught them off-guard.
“Trotts has done brilliantly to nick the ball and cut it back and it was a fantastic finish from Jay.
“It’s been very good since the gaffer came in. All the management staff have been fantastic since they came in.
“We’ve grown as a team as pre-season has gone and there is a real buzz about the place. We’re all really looking forward to starting the season.”
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