Looking forwards to our next Sky Bet Championship outing, this week sees us working towards our derby clash with Preston North End off the back of two stirring performances against Sunderland and Norwich City.
Due to our respective positions in the table, our victory against the Black Cats last Tuesday was hugely important given that it increased the gap between us.
It was an impressive performance by the team who showed their character and determination to get the three points, especially as we had suffered two successive defeats on our travels in the build up to the game.
The effort by every player in a Bolton Wanderers shirt against Norwich City at Carrow Road meanwhile was a sight to behold.
The lads fought very hard to grind out a result against a Norwich side who were going all out for a victory in front of their own fans. Due to the sheer amount of games we are playing, we have had to use the full talents of our squad.
This was illustrated on Saturday when the players who have largely played a peripheral role this season, and who have been knocking on the first team door, have come in and given 120% to play a crucial role.
This kind of spirit will augur well over the coming weeks when games come thick and fast.
Our decision not to make players available for transfer elsewhere in January is already paying off with players like Darren Pratley, Josh Vela, Craig Noone, Will Buckley, Stephen Darby and Andrew Taylor having been unavailable over recent weeks with injuries, and Mark Little and Karl Henry missing through suspension - it’s all very much hands to the pump.
I was pleased that we were able to bring in Jan Kirchhoff to the squad. Jan is a hugely talented player and I’m sure he will play a crucial role for us between now and the end of the season.
We are also hoping to bring in at least one more player. Our plan is to strengthen the squad and have the time to get them match fit in readiness for the final run-in to ensure a competitive edge on the training ground with the squad all vying for places.
I read with interest a recent article in The Bolton News about players all playing for their future at our football club. This is very much the case and we are already in discussions with two current players’ agents about extending their contracts. We expect the next few weeks to be very busy on this front.
Our scouts will also be out there actively scouting players over the next few weeks for next season as the new transfer window rules are very much a game changer and will mean clubs need to do their transfer business early.
l think the subsequent loan window period will be very competitive with clubs holding on to their players until they have signed players or got loans in.
l had heard that people thought that l would be hoping that Gary Madine and Cardiff would not be successful, but this couldn’t be further from the truth as l wish Gary well, not to forget that if Cardiff do get promoted to the Premier League, there will be a significant additional financial benefit for the club.
It is pleasing to see the success of our Under-18s and Under-23 teams who are topping their respective leagues, and huge credit must go to the coaching staff and the players themselves.
Having a strong Academy structure and development squads is crucial for the progression of our football club. Indeed, a recent report has highlighted that we are currently the second best Academy at producing players in the EFL structure.
Looking at this weekend's game, it would be fantastic to get a large turnout to generate a vociferous atmosphere and to make Macron Stadium an intimidating arena for the Preston players.
If you haven’t bought your tickets yet for the game, then please do so by CLICKING HERE.
Our support has been phenomenal of late, and the backing we receive on our travels has been exceptional of late. Long may this continue!
I’d also like to remind you about our Final Five offer which, starting from the Aston Villa game on Saturday 17 March, will enable you to watch our five remaining home games from just £80.
It offers supporters a great saving compared to buying tickets on a match by match basis and the extra support will be beneficial to the players as we strive to continue our fantastic home form.
There really is no place like home! Click here for more information.
Please continue to support the club’s lottery schemes meanwhile. BWFC Lotteries have provided the club with some of the best and innovative facilities for over 40 years.
More recently, they provided funding for the dome at Lostock which helped to ensure the Academy retained its Category Two status.
If you haven’t already joined, please consider signing up to either Lifeline for just £2 per week or Goldline at just £1 per week.
In return, you are helping your club as well as having the chance of winning some fabulous prizes, up to £7,500 on Lifeline and £5,000 on Goldline. Click here for more information about BWFC Lotteries.
Finally, I would like to welcome Lee Rimington on board as the club’s new Head of Commercial. Lee will be joining us next Monday and has previously worked in commercial roles for Warrington Wolves and Lancashire County Cricket Club.
I’d also like to congratulate Richard Eaton on being appointed the club’s Head of Finance.
Richard has been the interim Head of Finance for several months having originally joined the club as Financial Controller in September 2016 and I’m sure you will all join me in wishing both Richard and Lee the very best.
Let’s be loud, let’s be proud and let’s get behind the team.