Following the disappointing result against Preston North End at the weekend, we had the opportunity of making an immediate response by taking on Reading at the Madjeski Stadium on Tuesday.
Sometimes, when you have a bad day at the office, the best thing is not to dwell on it and try and bounce back straight away with a positive attitude.
I feel that we did this against Reading, and while we should and could have won the game, the way we played and the manner in which we controlled the majority of the match shows that we have got an indomitable, fighting spirit.
Making seven changes to the team was a bold and brave decision by the manager but it was the right one. He wanted a reaction and he got one.
It also shows that we’ve got the talent in the squad to change our shape and formation as and when required and play to a system that will have our opponents guessing.
It was pleasing to see Jon Flanagan and Jan Kirchhoff make their first starts in Wanderers colours, and they both gave a very good account of themselves. We’ve also brought in Chinedu Obasi to strengthen our attacking options over the coming weeks.
We have got another away game this weekend when we travel to Sheffield Wednesday and, like Reading, they are a side that are in and around us in the league table.
Again, we need to show more of the same and hopefully get the result that could see us leapfrog them.
I thought our travelling support were once again magnificent on Tuesday too - just under 500 of you were there at Reading and for the majority of the game, you out sang the home supporters.
I know we’ll be taking a good following of over 1,500 to Hillsborough where I’m sure you will be as loud as you usually are.
Our Final Five promotion runs up until kick off of the Aston Villa game on Saturday 17 March, and it offers you the most cost effective way of watching our final five home games of the campaign.
The ticket is available from just £80 for adults and your support for those crucial home games will be very much appreciated by everybody at the club. More information about this is available here.
The club has also reduced the prices of our replica kits to £29.99 for adults, £24.99 for junior and mini-kits and £19.99 for baby kits, while there is also 50% off shirt printing.
So, now is the time to wear your colours with pride both home and away! You can buy online by visiting www.bwfcdirect.co.uk, however, please be aware that this sale will end on Saturday 17 March after the home game against Villa, so don’t miss out and get your shirts while stocks last!
Our forthcoming home game against Birmingham City on Tuesday 3 April is not too far away and we are running a ‘Kids for a Quid’ promotion.
With the game taking place during the Easter holidays, we hope that many families take up this offer, with tickets for adults just £15 in all areas of the ground too and all tickets for this fixture going on sale this coming Monday.
I noted with interest Garry Monk’s comments, upon his appointment as Birmingham City manager, that he wanted to make St Andrew’s a ‘hostile environment for any away team’.
While I wouldn’t have used the word ‘hostile’, which I think is perhaps a little too strong a word in that context, I agree that by encouraging supporters to make their home ground an intimidating arena in terms of noise and atmosphere, it can be very advantageous.
As you all know, our supporters have so often been our 12th man when they get behind the team. With our Final Five home games coming up against Aston Villa, Birmingham City, Millwall, Wolves and Nottingham Forest, let’s continue to make Macron Stadium a cauldron of noise and passion for Phil Parkinson and the players. There really is no place like home!
A special mention must go to our Academy department over at Lostock after it was revealed earlier this week that they topped the standings in terms of productivity out of the 72 English Football League clubs and second out of all 92 EFL and Premier League Clubs.
It is huge praise indeed and a fitting testament to all the hard work and vision by everyone concerned. It is also no coincidence that our Under-18s and Under-23s sides are topping their respective leagues and are going from strength to strength. This augurs well for the future of the club and I congratulate Jimmy Phillips and everybody who works for the Academy.
The hotel is holding a number of forthcoming events which we’d be grateful if you are able support, as all the revenue we generate as a business is invested in to the strengthening our football operations.
The Premier Suite will be hosting the British Heavyweight contest between Sam Sexton and Hughie Fury on Saturday 12 May. This is a real coup for us and it will be broadcast live on Channel Five, but tickets are available and can be purchased by clicking here.
Also, on Saturday 2 June, we will be staging a very special ‘Evening With Paul Gascoigne’ at Macron Stadium. Please click here for more information.
Next Friday, March 16, will represent two years to the day since I came in at the 11th hour with Dean Holdsworth to buy the club.
As you will remember, there was a real threat to the club’s very existence at that time, but I think we can look back at the 24 months that have since elapsed and feel a sense of achievement at what has happened.
Yes, of course, there is still much more hard work to undertake, but with your continued support and loyalty, we will get there together.
Finally, tomorrow, as a club, our thoughts and prayers turn towards the 33 Wanderers supporters who died during the Burnden Park disaster 72 years ago.
The entire Bolton Family will never forget them and their families. All their names are in our memorial book and are always remembered at our annual Service of Thanksgiving and Remembrance at the end of the campaign.
As always, let’s be loud, let’s be proud and let’s get behind the team this Saturday.