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Bolton will be fired up: Coley

Reds boss looking to bounce back after two defeats

27 February 2020

John Coleman expects Bolton Wanderers to be fired up for Saturday’s League One encounter at the University of Bolton Stadium.

When the two met at the Wham Stadium in November, Stanley celebrated a memorable 7-1 victory and also overcame Keith Hill’s side 2-0 in the Trophy soon after.

Bolton were deducted 12 points at the start of the season and are 23rd in the table, on 11 points.

They have lost their last five league games while the 16th placed Reds have suffered defeats in their last two matches.

“You get games like that (the 7-1) sometimes,” said the Reds boss.

“We went a goal down, then there was the sending off and the penalty and that got our tails up.

“I think that settled us down and then everything we hit went in. We have made more chances than that in other games and lost so we never got carried away by that result.

“We know they will be fired up because of that defeat and I have watched them several times this season and they have been unlucky in a number of games. We certainly won’t underestimate them.”

Coleman admits he is disappointed not to get anything out of the last two games – a 2-1 late defeat to Rotherham last Saturday and a 3-0 loss at Oxford on Tuesday.

“I do not like losing but the performances have been good. I don't know how we didn't get anything out of the game against Rotherham and we paid the price on Tuesday for defensive frailties and not being able to put the ball in the net.

“They are both good sides but we have got to do better in terms of taking our chances and defensively as well, especially as we have conceded eight goals in our last three games.

“We did have probably the youngest back five in League One on Tuesday – with Joe Bursik in goal and then Callum Johnson, Aji Alese, Ross Sykes and Jerome Opoku.

“The average age would have been around 20 and they are good players who are still learning and will get better with every game they play.”

Coleman admits the youthfulness of his squad this season has led to them not being able to put decent runs together.

“We have been inconsistent this season, we win a few and then lose a couple. You do not set out to be inconsistent, you try to be the best you can but goals have a massive effect on games.

“You look on Tuesday and Joe Pritchard has a great chance to put us ahead and then 15 seconds later they have scored. Instead of them having to score two goals to win, we suddenly have to.

“There is also a large element of luck to the game as well and I think people underestimate that.”

Defender Mark Hughes was having a scan on his calf this week while Alese is hoping to recover from a ‘twinge’ in his back.

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