PREVIEW: Wanderers v Barnsley

Wanderers return to the University of Bolton Stadium with the chance to move back into League One’s top six.

Peterborough’s mid-week win over Forest Green shuffled Rovers down a place to seventh on goal difference.

But Ian Evatt’s men are level on points with Barnsley and will go above the sixth-placed Tykes if they can extend their excellent home form with a sixth win from seven this term.

Manager quotes:

Ian Evatt: “We must keep the players confident and positive. We’re all disappointed (at the last two defeats), of course, and we’re all striving to be better.

“But we must remember what we have done this season – the best start in 22 years after 10 games and the best defensive record in the league.

“There’s lots to be positive about and let’s take that into Saturday and have a raucous atmosphere here and take the game to Barnsley.

“We’re not getting judged after 12 games, we’re getting judged after 46.

“But for now, re-focus our minds, get back to our performance levels, both with and without the ball, and physically and mentally and make sure we try and get those three points to get us back in those play-offs.”

Barnsley assistant head coach Martin Paterson: “Their last two games have not gone well for them, that makes our task even tougher going away.

“I know Ian very well. I was on my UEFA Pro Licence with him. I know what kind of character he is, he's a winner.

“Going away to Bolton in League One is one hell of a fixture, and when results haven't gone their way in the last two, they won the three before that.

“They'll be chomping at the bit to go and win a home game, so it will be a really tough task and we're fully aware of that.”

Team news

Wanderers will have midfield man Kyle Dempsey back from the hip strain that kept him out at Forest Green last Saturday.

Defender Eoin Toal picked up a thigh injury in the B team’s mid-week win but isn’t expected to be absent for long.

Lloyd Isgrove is being aimed at next Tuesday night’s Papa Johns Trophy tie with Leeds’ U21s, when Josh Sheehan is also set to start.

Barnsley are without attacking midfielder Luke Thomas after he sustained a broken leg and ligament damage in training.

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Ex-Wanderers’ midfielder Luca Connell (above) is likely to figure for the Tykes and on-loan Norwich City man Josh Martin could be pushing for a first League start after scoring twice in Barnsley’s Papa John’s Trophy win over Doncaster Rovers.

Sixteen-year-old Fabio Jalo also scored twice in the 4-2 victory which took the Tykes into the knock-out stages.

Form guide

Wanderers will be looking to bounce back from successive away defeats which brought to an end a four-match winning run in League One.

The Whites have won five of their six home league games this season and have lost just twice at home since mid-January.

Barnsley lost their last league game – a 2-0 home defeat to Exeter City – following un unbeaten six-game run.

Michael Duff’s men have won their last three away league games after starting the campaign with back-to-back defeats on the road.


Referee: David Rock

Assistant referees: Matthew Parry, David Avent

Fourth Official: Thomas Kirk


Saturday 3pm


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