Friday, 3 October 2014

Match Preview: Cherry Chimes talks to Voice of Bolton

Rival Lines
Match Preview
Bolton Wanderers v AFCB
Blogger Interview: Voice of Bolton

Cherry Chimes chats with Anis, managing editor of Voice of Bolton, to preview the Bolton away game and to find out what is happening with this great northern team, who are certainly struggling at present. We try and put the finger on exactly where the problems are and look at whether Bolton are finding it harder to play at home or away, or perhaps they are just finding it hard no matter where they play.

CC: What are expectations for most Bolton fans this season in terms of a league finishing position?

VOB: We guess it’s fair to say that we were hoping for some major progress this season. However, so far it doesn’t seem like we’re going to have that ‘great’ season we have been desperate for. If you asked us before the season had kicked off, we would have confidently stated a top 10 position. Play-offs for us this season would have been quite a dream, but you can’t over confidently believe that a club such as ours that has struggled somewhat for a few years now is going to start the season in 5th gear and be near the top of the table come December.

Now, it looks like we’re going to be drifting in and out of the relegation zone. Some belief for a Bolton fan huh?

CC: Is Dougie Freedman making much progress at Bolton in terms of performances if not the points?

When Dougie took over the club, he had his critics – a fair few Bolton fans believed that he wasn’t the right guy for the job. They were at the time in the minority, out voiced. Now it seems that they had the foresight to see something most Bolton fans couldn’t. The belief has somewhat deteriorated, mainly this season. We have one win and two draws from nine games – that is hardly the start any team needs. However, Dougie has baffled the entire fanbase by defending some performances this season. What’s even more confusing is that how he can play with one upfront when this particular formation had proved costly for over a season or so.

You would clearly question the tactical intelligence of the current Bolton manager. The fanbase for one can see it is a pointless task sticking with the same formation week in, week out.

CC: Where does the team need strengthening or are you happy with last summer's signings?

VOB: At this present moment in time – the whole squad bar a few need to be replaced. We lack the strength up front. Joe Mason is with us on loan once more. He has what it takes to deliver goals, but he needs a strike partner – as he had in Lukas Jutkiewicz. The midfield look clueless. Spearing has been very ineffective. The other players don’t look like they’re Championship quality at all. Dean Moxey looks out of his depth, whereas we haven’t been able to sort out a decent centre-back pairing as of yet. We look very fragile at the back.

Last but not least, Andy Lonergan has, so far, been outstanding. However, this can only last for so long. The team need to man up and start being responsible! We have seen better football from League One / Two sides!

CC: Do you fear that things could deteriorate with the Financial Fair Play penalties being dished out to clubs that overspend?

We are already suffering as a result. We have had a self-imposed embargo on transfers, which possibly is down to the amount of debt we have. It is fair to say Dougie has had no opportunity to bring players of some quality in as those players cost money – which is something we have not got at present. All of our signings so far have been either loans or free agents. Without spending anything, you are likely to be dealing with other team’s scraps.

We can understand why there is such a thing as Financial Fair Play, however with clubs in the lower tiers already struggling – it’s adding weight and looks set to kill the game (if the Premier League and Sky don’t get there first).

CC: Who has impressed you most in a Bolton shirt this season?

VOB: Andy Lonergan in goal. He has been amazing! Nothing more to say on this – let’s hope he carries on like this for a long time!

CC: Joe Mason had a great game against Rotherham - is he getting to grips with the Championship?

He seems to be a decent Championship player. However Joe’s game gets better when he is paired up with feeding striker. He is sure to deliver goals with more game time.

CC: Why have you failed to win away yet?

Poor performances. Players don’t seem to have any confidence in themselves – they’re too reliant on each other to do the job for them. Tactical ignorance from the manager and much more.

CC: Could the team have been scoring more goals at home?

VOB: Of course. Any home side should be scoring more at home. However, this doesn’t seem to be the case for us. We don’t have the kind of free scoring players in the team at all.

CC: How has our old AFCB winger Liam Feeney been playing?

VOB: Feeney has been fairly OK. It feels like he hasn’t embedded into the club as well as we’d expect. Hopefully this will change over time.

CC: How do you think Bolton will try and get at Bournemouth?

VOB: We hope they try to get all 3 points, but the way things are currently going – we’re hoping we don’t get hammered!

CC: I'm almost afraid to ask -what is your score prediction for the game?

VOB: We’ll happily take a 1 – 1 draw!

CC: I think that is the most honest and heartfelt comments that we have had from a blogger on Rival Lines. It is always hard when your team is not going well and Bolton fans must be looking anywhere they can for some inspiration. That would seem to be watching keeper Andy Lonergon and I guess fingers are crossed that he does not get injured. I am sure though that AFCB playing at the Macron stadium is a match that the Bolton manager and players would expect to be able to win, and it may well be a match where the first goal will win the game as I can see Bolton's crowd really getting behind them if they get it or turning on their manager if AFCB get it.

I want to thank Anis for his frank opinions on the Bolton team and do visit Voice of Bolton to see what else he has been writing about on his favourite team.

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