Phil Parkinson casts a forlorn figure at the moment. It is a wonder that the Bolton Wanderers manager has much hair left given that he must be pulling out huge clumps of it at the sight of his side throwing away the chance to secure automatic promotion to the Championship.
Wanderers were looking nailed-on as far as a return to the second-tier of the English game was concerned just a few short weeks ago, an excellent run throughout March seeing them drop just two points from their six League One games that month. April has been a completely different kettle of fish however and one can only assume that the players have decided that the Championship doesn’t look too inviting after all and they don’t really want to be in it.
Since the beginning of the month, Wanderers have looked tired and uninspired. A solitary win is all they have to show for their efforts, this victory surrounded by a couple of 1-0 defeats and two goal-less draws. A low-point has been reached and to be honest it couldn’t have come at a worse time. Two measly points now separate second-placed Bolton from the rest of the chasing pack and if they don’t pull their socks up then Fleetwood Town will happily swap places with them.
Two matches remain until the end of the season and Wanderers need to up their game. There may be behind-the-scenes issues that we don’t know about, however the team really do need to put these to one side and finish the job they started, otherwise it may all turn out to be for nothing.
As far as Saturday’s clash is concerned, hosts Port Vale are in the relegation mix with no goals in their last four outings and Bolton should see this game as a chance to put recent disappointments firmly behind them. The question is, will they? We believe so.