BWFC November Preview: Fasten Your Seatbelts

  • October 31, 2013 | By Sean McNeilly
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Bolton hit the road in November, with three of their four games away from the Reebok Stadium.

Back on October 1, if the footballing Gods had approached Dougie Freedman and offered him an unbeaten month I'm sure he would have taken it with both hands and not looked back. But the last two games at the Reebok have put a dampener on what was looking to be a turn-around month, and I'm sure Dougie won't be making any such deals so quickly this coming month.

More points are top of the list in the coming month. Any hint of promotion is now a pipe dream away, as we all look nervously at the table after every match.

Bolton will be clocking up the miles in November, as three of the four matches they play are away from the Reebok. A trip to the south coast gets us under way, as the Whites visit Bournemouth on November 2, before hosting fellow strugglers Millwall a week later. An international break is followed on November 23 by a tough trip to Vicarage Road, before the month is rounded off a week later at Middlesbrough - who are without a manager, at the time of writing.

Bournemouth have to be one of the surprise packages of the season so far. After a hugely impressive promotion last season, Eddie Howe's troops have taken to the Championship like pensioners to the seaside and the Cherries go into November comfortably in the top half. Mark Pugh and Cherry-legend Brett Pitman have been standout performers so far this season, but the standout man for Howe has been Lewis Grabban - bagging seven goals already. However, the fact that Bournemouth have only won one in the last six and have conceded the second most amount of goals so far in the Championship gives Bolton some real hope of a positive result at the Goldsands Stadium.

Pos Team Pld W D L F A Pts GD
11 Bournemouth 13 5 2 6 20 27 17 -7
21 Bolton Wanderers 13 1 7 5 11 20 10 -9

One to Watch: Lewis Grabban


Millwall ended September with three wins in a row, but then went through October without a victory - a mixed bag for Steve Lomas. October did have some bright spots, though, with very credible draws against QPR and Reading, respectively. Millwall have conceded the third highest number of goals in the second-tier so far, but keeper David Forde has been one of the better performers for the Lions and his performances have him as Republic of Ireland's number-one. One of the better outfield performers so far has been Liam Trotter, who has three goals and three assists to his name. So the Trotters will be hoping to keep Trotter quiet then (I'm here all week). As long as Bolton don't get distracted by the hilarity of having a player on the opposition who has a similar surname as their own nickname, then three points are a must in this encounter.

Pos Team Pld W D L F A Pts GD
17 Millwall 13 3 4 6 15 26 13 -11
21 Bolton Wanderers 13 1 7 5 11 20 10 -9

One to Watch: Scott McDonald
Last Season: Millwall 2-1 Bolton Wanderers (Henderson 2; Eagles)


Watford missed out on promotion last season in probably the cruelest way, after a play-off final loss to Crystal Palace at Wembley. Gianfranco Zola must be hoping to go one better when May comes around, in 2014. The Hornets have started in a positive enough manner and currently lie one point and a place off the top-six. Troy Deeney and Fernando Forrestieri have formed a solid strike partnership, bagging nine goals between them, but the free summer signing of Lewis McGugan is the stand out piece of business for Zola so far. Five goals, some of them absolute beauties, and five assists are the reward from the former Nottingham Forest maestro. Watford are the joint top scorers in the league so far and will be stern competition for the Wanderers. If anything can be taken from Vicarage Road, it would be a massive bonus.

Pos Team Pld W D L F A Pts GD
7 Watford 13 6 4 3 25 15 22 10
21 Bolton Wanderers 13 1 7 5 11 20 10 -9

One to Watch: Lewis McGugan
Last Season: Watford 2-1 Bolton Wanderers (Vydra, Abdi; Sordell(pen))


Middlesbrough have just parted company with boss Tony Mowbray and started life without their former player by spanking Doncaster Rovers, 4-0. By the time the November 30 rolls around, a new manager should be long in charge. At the time of writing, Mike Phelan is a name floating around with the bookies. Mowbray's sacking came about due to an indifferent start to the season, a fact that must make Freedman feel very lucky indeed. Mustapha Carayol and Grant Leadbitter are proving their worth so far this season, while Albert Adomoah is bagging goals from midfield, including two in the win over Donny. Former Real Madrid and Tottenham man Jonathan Woodgate will be at the forefront of trying to stop Bolton from taking anything from the Riverside. An unpredictable team to say the least, are Boro, but Bolton will fancy their chances at taking something back t'Reebok.

Pos Team Pld W D L F A Pts GD
15 Middlesbrough 13 3 6 4 23 21 15 2
21 Bolton Wanderers 13 1 7 5 11 20 10 -9

One to Watch: Albert Adomoah
Last Season: Middlesbrough 2-1 Bolton Wanderers (McDonald 2; Chung-Yong)


Who knows what November will hold for us. This season has proven so far that nothing can be predicted when it comes to Bolton. Will we have a different man at the helm for the Christmas program? Will someone step up and be the star man Bolton are crying out for? Can the gaps be plugged at the back? Will we be clear of the relegation zone before Santa comes to town? I would suggest no, maybe, no and Santa? It's not even November and Santa is being mentioned! As for November, seven points would be very welcomed, anything less than five would simply not be good enough.

Sky Bet League One Standings

Pos Team Pld Pts
1 Accrington Stanley 0 0
2 Barnsley 0 0
3 Bolton Wanderers 0 0
4 Bristol Rovers 0 0
5 Burton Albion 0 0
View Full Standings >>


Who is Bolton's 2021/22 Player of the Year?
32.58% Oladapo Afolayan
30.96% Gethin Jones
21.72% Ricardo Almeida Santos
5.51% Declan John
4.05% Kieran Lee
3.08% MJ Williams
1.78% Joel Dixon
0.32% George Johnston