Andy Munro on Blues’ midweek win over Bolton.
I suppose that we had been warned as the Mail filled its Blues section with dire warnings from players and manager alike that it wasn’t going to be easy against the strugglers – mind you, with the Blues, it never is.
So it proved, with Blues playing in a stuttering fashion from the start and Bolton soon sensing the lack of momentum and fluency coming from the home side. Certainly, they looked a lot more accomplished on the ball and if the Trotters do go down, it will be due to their lack of firepower.
Apart from one excellent save, Kuscak was rarely troubled and in front of him, Shotton showed himself to be capable defensively despite some wayward passes. In midfield, Gleeson and Kleftenbeld battled away without dominating that area of the pitch whilst the wide players were generally ineffectual. That is, until Cotterill made his much awaited return when the improvement of quality was tangible in its delivery. Up front, Donaldson looked a bit lost without his batman, Tora, yet it was a touch of Fabrini class by the Spaniard’s replacement that led to the match’s deciding goal.
Generally, however, we struggled and Bolton dominated in equal measure until the arrival of Cotterill and Tora gave some cohesion and purpose to our offensive play, putting Bolton on the back foot for the first time in the match. However, it’s a mystery why Caddis can’t get a place particularly with the return of Cotterill. He’s obviously upset Gary Rowett, or the manager doesn’t rate him. I think it’s the former as I would guess Caddo is by no means backward in coming forward. In fact, similar to his style of play.
Unfortunately, he has seemingly been sin binned along with the talents of Reece Brown. Whatever the reason, in my view , Rowett is cutting off his nose to spite his face as the old saying goes. Shotton is a decent player but in fullback terms a bit similar to Jon Grounds. In fact, it would seem more natural for him to challenge for a central position when the opportunity (as it surely will) arises.
Either way, to use the much hackneyed phrase, In Rowett we must Trust, and undoubtedly, the result was the most important thing at a time when everybody around us are generally getting results and any slip ups could see us lose touch with the pack. A final place around eighth still looks the most likely but it’s great to continue, for the moment, with our play-off buzz.