I’d like to welcome Callum Connolly who joined the club on loan from Everton until the end of the season.
Callum is a player whom the manager has tracked for quite a while and tried to sign last summer, and has shown a real desire to play for Bolton Wanderers for the remainder of the campaign.
His energy, enthusiasm and versatility will be tremendous assets to the squad as we embark on a crucial period of games.
Overall, it was somewhat of a frustrating deadline day for all concerned at club as we had put in proposals at clubs for several players. Although those clubs had sanctioned the moves, the players concerned opted to stay at their clubs and fight for their places, which is completely understandable. They had also turned down interest from other Championship clubs.
It was well documented that we were also interested in Sheffield United striker Ched Evans. Indeed, we were extremely close in bringing Ched to the University of Bolton Stadium for the rest of the season and he wanted to play for us. However, Fleetwood Town, where he was currently on loan, weren’t keen on losing his services and we were unable to get the deal over the line, which was disappointing to say the least.
Although we made it patently clear that none of our players were available for transfer, we received a number of offers which were flatly refused.
I noted a rumour which suggested that Mark Little was a player we were looking to move on. I can categorically state that we had not received an offer for Mark and nor did we want him to leave.
Whilst we tried to make further additions to the squad throughout January it wasn’t for the lack of trying and the manager, like myself, is confident that the players we have in the squad are capable of maintaining our status in the Sky Bet Championship.
It’s a cliché, I know, but all games in this league are tough and apart from one or two exceptions we have not been outclassed. I truly believe that if are able to get a run going – and it will come – then we can start to look up at the table.
Sheffield United on Saturday is probably as tough as it gets at the moment as they are flying and bang on form, and I guess a lot of people are expecting it to be a routine home win. But having defeated them at Bramall Lane last season, I know the players will be doing their best to get something from the game.
Our next home match will see Preston North End make the short journey for a Lancashire derby at the University of Bolton Stadium on Saturday 9 February and it’s imperative that everybody in the ground is fully behind the manager and players. If we can get something from both of these games then I am confident that they will provide the platform for us to get a positive sequence of results.
I thought you might like to know that the police bill for our last two home games, against West Brom and Reading, cost in the region of £20,000. Both these games were not originally designated as fixtures that required a police presence, but with the protests that took place, it was deemed necessary for the police to be on site to prevent possible disorder. While I completely agree that everybody has a right to express their opinions, I hope those people involved realise that the £20,000 we had to spend could and should have been put to much better use at the club.
It was noted that only a very small minority chose to protest at the Reading game and from what I can gather the vast majority of our fans are not in favour of this course of action.
Let’s all now focus on the players and matters on the pitch so that we can work together and strive to get the results that will see us play in this division next season.