Why Peterborough United should take no notice of a daily tale of woe from Bolton Wanderers
The Trotters complain they could have fewer than 18 (just the 18) senior players available for the League One fixture at the Toughsheet Community Stadium on Saturday with top scorer Dion Charles rated only a 50-50 chance to take part because of a shoulder problem.
Just seven months ago it was a similar story for Bolton ahead of a trip to Posh with five senior players sidelined by injury and two more key men suspended.
A good opportunity for full-strength Posh then? You’d have thought so, but Bolton went on to win the game between two teams with promotion hopes 5-0 with Charles bagging a hat-trick including two penalties and former Posh defender Ricardo Santos scoring twice! Santos also pocketed star Posh striker Jonson Clarke-Harris for the second time that season.
That defeat equalled a club record home loss in a Football League match for Posh. Rotherham also won 5-0 at London Road on Boxing Day, 1999 after unsucessfully trying to get the match called off because of sickness in the camp.
Beware the wounded team is the moral of the tale.
Bolton boss Ian Evatt insisted he wasn’t chasing sympathy or making pre-match excuses with his daily injury bulletins. His latest comments to the Bolton News included: ‘I have a huge amount of belief in these players, in myself and the staff, and injuries will not define what we do this season,
“There won’t be any prizes dished out in September, only in May, so there shouldn’t be any over-reactions to negative results. It should just be focus, move on to the next challenge. We move on and put absolutely everything into trying to beat Peterborough United.
“I genuinely don’t think any squad in this division could cope with the amount of injuries we have at the moment, but I think we can.
“Whoever gets their chance has an opportunity now to really make a name for themselves.”
It’s a return to Bolton for new Posh skipper Peter Kioso who needs to tread carefully tomorrow as he’s one caution away from a suspension as is key midfielder Hector Kyprianou.
Kioso played on loan at Bolton from Luton Town in the first-half of the Trotters’ League Two promotion campaign of 2020-21, scoring three goals in 13 appearances.
He scored and was sent off in a 3-3 draw at Carlisle when the referee was Ross Joyce who is the man in the middle tomorrow. Joyce has also sent off Santos twice before!
Kioso left Bolton in January of that season and moved to League One Northampton Town on loan. The Cobblers went on to be relegated.
Posh have never won a Football League game at Bolton.
A late goal, courtesy of a double deflection, won the day for the home side last season and that was a fifth defeat in six outings in Bolton for Posh.
Posh have only scored two goals in that time and none, in a 1-1 second tier draw in 1993 when on-loan forward David Rush netted and in a 2-1 defeat in the old Third Division two seasons before when Ken Charlery had fired Posh in front.
Bolton started the League One season with three wins when they scored three times on each occasion, but they’ve had just a referee-inspired Derby County home win since then.
They went down to two late goals at troubled Reading last weekend.
They start tomorrow’s match level on points wiith Posh, but with a superior goal difference and with a game in hand.