Bolton Wanderers welcomed in 2016 with another troublesome defeat at the hands of Huddersfield Town at the Macron Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
Having concluded the last calendar year on a high with a win over local rivals, Blackburn Rovers, optimism was somewhat lifted for the visit of David Wagner’s Terriers side, but despite a decent start, Wanderers were undone by second-half strikes from Joe Lolley and Mustapha Carayol; two goals without reply enough for the Terriers to win comfortably.
The negative result against an impressive Huddersfield side meant that Bolton start the New Year propping up the league standings, four points adrift of Rotherham – worrying times indeed.
After taking a step forward in our previous home game, we are now seemingly back to square one at this moment in time.
Following the short-lived joy of the win against Rovers, the reverse on home soil yielded the usual feelings of despair, an emotion that has engulfed fans this term, with Bolton having just won two matches all season.
And with half of the campaign already played, the club find themselves in a precarious position, both on and off the pitch.
What about manager Neil Lennon? Well, a year, or even six months, is a long time in football these days and Lennon has struggled to continue the consistency which he found in his early months in charge of this beleaguered football institution.
It is categorically fair to say, that in my opinion, the Northern Irishman is in a battle to keep his job, after a woeful start to the current season – a chain of results which could in-fact see Bolton Wanderers slip through the trap door, and into the third-tier.
Off the field of play, Bolton’s financial status, something which is even more worrying for the club’s health in the long-term, continues to hang like a dark cloud over the Macron Stadium, as Lennon admitted that the Greater Manchester outfit may be forced to sell players to raise funds.
Two players that could leave this month are highly-rated youngsters, Zach Clough and Josh Vela, who have both attracted interest from the Premier League, as well as sides pushing for promotion to the top-flight. But hopefully, Bolton can somehow keep hold of the duo over the next month or so.
Current owner, Eddie Davies, will not invest more money into the stricken club, who are in desperate search of a buyer. With any deal yet to be finalised between any parties involved, it’s a scenario which has angered supporters in the stands.
The takeover saga has hit both the front and back pages of national publications, with the Sports Shield consultancy, who are the favourites to take the ownership from Davies, still no closer.
As part of the proposed ownership change, former club captain, Kevin Nolan, has also been linked with a move back to his former stomping ground – these unlikely rumours, however exciting they may be, have somewhat diverted the negative attention away from the current situation, and have got fans reminiscing about happier times in the club’s heyday under Sam Allardyce.
Anyway, it’s the FA Cup third-round this weekend, away at Conference side, Eastleigh, in what could potentially be a banana skin. Let’s hope Bolton prevail, to give us long-suffering fans something to cheer!