Steve Parkin offers Darren Pratley update

Bolton Wanderers assistant manager Steve Parkin has revealed that Whites captain Darren Pratley is closing in on a first team return and could be available for Saturday's trip to Queens Park Rangers.

The skipper has been missing since New Year's Day after being forced off in the first half of Bolton's 1-0 victory over Hull City in the Sky Bet Championship.

But after Pratley returned to training this week, Parkin told that the midfielder is in good shape and his imminent return would provide a welcome boost to the Trotters in their battle to secure Sky Bet Championship survival.

Parkin said: “He is doing really well, he’s joined in with the first team today and he’s looking in a good place.

“We’ll have a chat with him after training today and see where we are with him.

“We know what our run of games is from now until the end of the season and we need everybody back for that and in the next week or so we should have that with everyone up to speed.”

Pratley gave Wanderers the lead at Macron Stadium when the sides drew 1-1 back in October, a game Parkin feels the Whites were unlucky not to claim all three points from.

He added: “It was an outstanding game earlier in the season and we don’t expect any different tomorrow.

“In the end we were a bit disappointed that we didn’t come away with what we wanted from the game but as a football match it was very good.

“What’s key for us away from home tomorrow is to make sure we stay in the big moments and make sure there’s a real edge and a good shape to the team.”

Despite suffering defear in Cardiff on Tuesday night, Parkin revealed the Bolton squad have recovered well and are feeling positive ahead of the clash with Ian Holloway’s QPR.

He explained: “We gave the boys yesterday off so they’ve come in nice and bright this morning and got through some tactics with the manager and they were fresh and in good spirits.

“We have to expect anything because the team he selects will be a tough one but it could vary in personnel depending on what he picks.

“If [Matt] Smith plays then we know long throws are coming in and we’ve got to deal with that.

“The key thing for us is to make sure we do our job on the day because it’ll be a great atmosphere at a smashing ground and we are really looking forward to it.”

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