It’s been evident in many teams throughout the years that the role of a holding midfield player is vital, offering defensive awareness and protection with the ability to spot danger and break up play.
Andrew Tutte’s role in the Wanderers team is an important one and having returned to the team on Boxing Day after a month or so on the sidelines, he is looking to help the team go on a run of form similar to the one in November.
He said: ‘The first half of the season has been a little bit up and down. We had a little bit of a run where we won five games on the bounce but I think we need to win more games, and we plan on doing that in the next part of the season.
‘We’ve been disappointed not to hit the form we would have wanted consistently so far this season but we’ve still got about 25 games to play. There’s a lot of points to play for and we can’t dwell on what’s been and gone. Hopefully we can kick-start our season and kick on from there.
‘If we win the next couple of games, we’re right back in the mix for the play-offs again. We know we need to stop drawing and losing as many games because eventually the games will run out. We’ve just got to focus on putting a run together now and winning a few games on the bounce like we did in November. Winning breeds confidence and that can only be a good thing for the squad.’
When Andrew Tutte sustained an injury during a 3-0 home victory against Southend United, Wanderers were flying and on fantastic run of form. Inconsistency has hit since then and although the 30 year-old is back in action now, he explained his frustration at being out of action during the majority of December.
‘As a footballer you just want to play games, there’s nothing worse than watching from the sidelines. I just couldn’t wait to get back and even though it was only about three weeks, it felt like six weeks because obviously it dragged. Hopefully we can get on a good run of form now and I can stay fit until the end of the season.
‘When I got injured we were on a great run of form as a team and everyone was playing well. It was an enjoyable period for us. There’s nothing better than going home after a win on a Tuesday night or a Saturday exhausted and tired, but knowing you’ve got three points in the bag.
‘I’m just buzzing to be back and hopefully we can get that run back and get that buzz back around the place. It’s a great feeling going back into training on a Monday after a good win at the weekend – everyone has a smile on their faces and we want to start doing that more.’
Tutte believes the key to Wanderers returning to another impressive run of form, is for the squad to grow in confidence and belief and that of course comes with winning. The midfielder also spoke about the aim of turning the University of Bolton Stadium into a fortress.
‘More often than not, we’d have won by about four goals with the amount of chances we created against Crawley. Once you get that first win on the board, you go into the next game believing you’re going to win again. We just need to build a bit of confidence and believe that we’ll get the three points in games and take it from there.
‘There’s nothing better than when you turn up on a Saturday and walk through our stadium because we love playing here. We’ve got to turn it into a fortress now and make sure that teams don’t like coming here. We’ve got to do that because the home form has got to be better than it has been in the first half of the season.’
Although he missed out on last month’s win at Cheltenham, Tutte spoke about what type of a challenge he is expecting from Michael Duff’s side this afternoon.
‘Cheltenham are quite a direct and physical side and even though I haven’t seen much of them and wasn’t involved in the reverse fixture, the lads told me that it’s going to be a physical game. They use the long-throw well and compete for second balls but we can’t look at them too much, we’ve just got to focus on ourselves. We’re playing at home, we’re the home team and we’ve got to concentrate on what we’re going to do. The only thing on our minds is to get the three points.’