It was important that we signed off for the international break in style when we played Aston Villa at Macron Stadium in front of the Sky Sports cameras at our last home game.
I thought it was one of our better performances of the season against a team who I have no doubt will be competing for one of the promotion places come May, and we were very good value for our 1-0 victory
In what were trying circumstances, given the weather conditions, I thought we adapted very well, contained Villa and didn’t allow them to play their game.
Now, in what seems like no time at all, domestic football returns with two crucial games over the Easter period.
We will be taking 2,500 fans across the Pennines on Good Friday for our game against Leeds United, and I know that you will all be singing your hearts out with that famous Lancashire pride from the first minute right up until the final whistle.
For this match, the manager and I wanted the players to prepare in the best manner possible so that they are fresh for the game.
Therefore, and despite Elland Road being a very short distance from Macron Stadium, the players will be travelling the day before and staying overnight.
I believe that this will help with the camaraderie and ensure that their preparedness is optimised for what is the start of another busy period of fixtures.
Hopefully, we will get the result our performance merits and will go into next Tuesday’s game against Birmingham City in good shape and determined to get the win in front of our own fans.
With four home games remaining, it is vital that the Bolton family gets behind the club and helps to turn Macron Stadium into an intimidating fortress - we’ve seen just how vociferous our fans have been and just how much of a difference they can make.
Birmingham City will be bringing just over 4,500 fans to Macron Stadium for the game and I’m sure they will be trying their best to out-sing our fans, but given the noise and passion you have all showed, particularly in the recent home fixtures, I’m sure this won’t happen.
With our ‘Kids for a Quid’ offer, and the fact that tickets for this game are priced at just £15 for adults and £7 for concessions, I’m hopeful that the town of Bolton will turn out in their numbers to help the players get the victory which will put some more breathing space between us and Birmingham.
Tickets can still be bought by clicking here, but please let your friends, family and colleagues know and bring them to the game with you.
As I have said all along, there will be many twists and turns along the way between now and the end of the campaign, and teams’ destinies are very much still to be determined. Nothing is a far gone conclusion yet, and that’s at both ends of the table.
Games are coming thick and fast and league positions will to and fro, but I believe that if we maintain the momentum that we have shown since the turn of the year, we can continue to look upwards at the table.
It’s particularly pleasing to note the success of our Under-18s and Under-23s who continue to solidify their positions at the top of their respective divisions. The former made it four successive wins when they beat Coventry City 5-1 last Saturday, while the Under-23s picked up a hard fought 1-0 victory against Millwall on Monday evening at Leyland.
Jimmy Phillips, David Lee and the rest of the coaching staff are doing a great job with our youth structure and this is an area of the club which we’ll need to continue improving, particularly from a scouting point of view, so we can cast our net further.
Having a solid and successful Academy structure is vitally important for the future of the club.
Once again, there has been some speculation in the press and on social media about players’ contracts. What I can tell you is that we are already talking to the agents of some of the current squad about extending their deals.
Once our destiny is known for certain, we’ll be in a stronger position to speak with the other players and their representatives. I think it is pretty evident that the higher up the football pyramid one goes, the fruits of one’s labours are commensurately rewarded.
Last week, we announced our financial results for the year ended June 30, 2017 and I’m sure that you will agree with me that they make far better reading than in previous years.
Don’t get me wrong - there is still a lot more hard work to undertake across all areas of the business, but we are now heading on the right path.
You may have also read in The Bolton News about us looking for investment. It is plain to see that if we are to compete with our peers and strive for promotion back to the Premier League, then we will need to increase our budgets.
It is my job to find investment and as always, I will keep you updated as and when we have any information to share.
If we can start to consistently get crowds in the 20,000 region – like we did towards the end of last season – it will make the club a lot more of an attractive proposition towards investors, and that’s not to mention the added benefits from revenue and atmosphere.
Finally, we have launched an ‘Easter Egg-stravaganza’ sale across our replica kit range and I invite you all to take advantage of this and wear your colours with pride for the remainder of the campaign.
More details of this can be found online via www.bwfcdirect.co.uk.
As always however, let's be loud, let’s be proud and let’s get behind the team!