Chairman Ken addresses the club's supporters in a special column taken from his matchday programme notes
We head into the weekend’s match against Crystal Palace in the Emirates FA Cup off the back of an extremely impressive run on home soil and to date, have managed to secure ten straight wins at Macron Stadium, making it a fortress.
The Scunthorpe United game meanwhile was particularly pleasing, both in regards to the result and the incredible turnout from our supporters with an attendance of over 17,000 on New Year’s Eve.
Your vocal support, as it has been all season long, was absolutely superb and ultimately pulled the team over the line to pick up a crucial victory against one of our rivals for promotion.
We also had a fantastic backing away at Coventry City on Monday with nearly 1,800 supporters making the trip despite the problems many of you encountered on the M6. Once again, you were well and truly our twelfth man and helped the team to secure a hard-earned draw.
The players perhaps looked a little jaded in comparison to our other recent games, but understandably so as three games inside eight days will always take their toll.
This is where the strength and depth of the squad meanwhile pays off with the likes of Derik Osede, Liam Trotter and James Henry able to come into the fray. All players need time under their belts and the festive period has given Phil Parkinson the opportunity to feature others who have not figured too prominently so far this season.
For Zach Clough to come on and convert that penalty however, with all the pressure that was on his shoulders, just goes to show how well he is developing as a senior player.
It was also great to see Max Clayton get back on the pitch after a long lay-off through injury and I feel sure that his point-earning goal will have done him no end of good.
Elsewhere, the manager is keeping me abreast of all matters at the training ground and it has been fantastic to learn that Lewis Buxton, Darren Pratley and Mark Howard are back in training. Their respective returns will increase the depth of the squad and will no doubt prove crucial throughout the coming months when the games come thick and fast.
I’d also like to take this opportunity to welcome Sam Allardyce back to Macron Stadium on Saturday. I am extremely pleased to see him back in the Premier League after a difficult few months for him personally.
The situation regarding his tenure in the England hotseat was much debated and looking at it from the outside, it does seem to have been a harsh punishment for a small error of judgement.
Having met and spoken to Sam a number of times in the past, I can assure you that I would have no hesitation in recommending him for a job and his record speaks for itself in the game - I feel sure many of our supporters would agree with me on that.
Saturday’s encounter is also a very personal game for myself as we welcome Steve Parish, Crystal Palace’s Chairman, and his family who are great friends of mine.
That said, I hope he enjoys the game but goes away disappointed come the final whistle. Other than that, I wish him and Palace the best of luck for the remainder of the campaign.
This calendar year meanwhile is a special one for us at the club with Bolton Wanderers celebrating 20 years at Macron Stadium. The attendances here have been increasing game-by-game and as I have said on numerous occasions, you all truly do make a huge difference in regards to lifting the players on the pitch.
Please continue in that vein as we begin our climb towards the conclusion of the current campaign in April and of course, to help us reach the next round of the Emirates FA Cup this coming Saturday.