A note from the Chairman

Read Ken Anderson's latest column ahead of today's game against Chesterfield at Macron Stadium

What a week this has been! Every day, the demand for tickets to today's game against Chesterfield has exceeded all my expectations. 

As I write this, we have already exceeded our biggest attendance of the season and are fast approaching 23,000.

It is even more incredible if I look back just 12 months ago, when everywhere there was doom and gloom both on the pitch and terraces. 

What a turnaround it has been meanwhile. I would like to thank each and every one of you here today for helping that to happen. Your continued support has been an inspiration to everyone at the club and hotel.

There is no doubt that the appointment of Phil Parkinson and his support team have played a big part in galvanising this squad of players into a competitive team, whether putting on a showpiece and winning by a four-goal margin or digging in and grinding out one-goal backs to the wall wins. 

As you may have read in The Bolton News today, we now have players who want to be here next season and I can't tell you what a joy to my ears that is.

No decisions have been taken on the players out of contract yet and each and every one of them has the opportunity to showcase themselves in the next seven games. 

What I do know is that we have a squad of players capable of playing in the Championship, where if we are fortunate enough to get there, they will play in front of crowds of 20,000 plus most weeks and the stakes and rewards for everyone will be much higher.

As has repeatedly been said by the players and the manager, we have seven cup finals left and to quote the old cliché, it is ours to lose now having opened up a six point lead over Fleetwood.

That said, we all know that every game will be difficult, starting with today's opponents Chesterfield who are fighting for their lives. 

We have to repeat the same level of intensity and chase down every ball as we did against Fleetwood recently and at times dig in and stand firm as we did against Oxford. Nothing less than 120% will do.

That is where you, the supporters, come in as the twelfth man. The support from you all season, both home and away, has been incredible. 

As already asked by the manager, please get behind the team today and let yourselves be heard. There will be times when your patience will be needed throughout games, but at the same time, your backing and enthusiasm will drive the team on. 

If you see anyone's head drop, then please get behind them and encourage and lift them to give that little extra and make everyone proud.

A great deal of hard work and determination has gone into getting us in this position and we must continue the level of focus, intensity and determination that has got us here.

We have three huge games in the next seven days, but if we can play as we have over the last month or so, we will not only give ourselves a great chance of gaining automatic promotion, but we will be in with a chance of chasing Sheffield United down for the championship. 

They say “only two things are guaranteed in life - death and taxes”. Well, I can tell you that if we continue to perform as we have recently and win all our remaining games, then we will be promoted. 

That is the mindset we all have to go into every game with, starting today.

Let's be loud, let's be proud and let’s get behind the team today.

Kind regards

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