Season Preview: Bolton Wanderers
Having narrowly missed out on the play-offs at the end of the 2012-13 season many expected Bolton to continue their good run of form into last season and seriously challenge again. However, it didn't materialise as they spent most of the season battling the drop, never getting out of the bottom half of the table. It took until the 6th of October (11 games) for Bolton to finally register a win, 2-1 at Birmingham and another month until they registered a home win, 3-1 against Millwall on the 9th of November. Their lowest point of the season came in January when they lost 7-1 at play-off chasing Reading, a game some were surprised didn't see the end of manager Dougie Freedman's reign. They did end the season well however with just one defeat in their last 10 matches although it call came too little, too late as they finished in a disappointing 14th.
When Dougie Freedman joined Bolton in October 2012 he did so with a growing reputation in English football. Having taken charge of previous side Crystal Palace with them in financial and relegation trouble he had steered them to safety and laid many of the foundations their promotion later that season would be based. He found some immediate success at Bolton too as he turned around their fortunes and went on a formidable run which saw them almost reach the play-off's. However, last season was very disappointing as he failed to progress the team with many of his summer signings failing to work out. If he's to rebuild his reputation and stay at Bolton, he'll need a good season this time around.
In:Neil Danns (Leicester City), Liam Trotter, Liam Feeney (Millwall), Dorian Dervite, Andy Hughes (Charlton Athletic), Dean Moxey (Crystal Palace)
Loans In: Kevin McNaughton (Cardiff City)
Players Out:Marvin Sordell (Burnley), Zat Knight, Chris Eagles, Tyrone Mears, Andre Moritz, Arran Lee-Barratt (Released)
Loans Out:Alex Baptiste (Blackburn Rovers), Keith Andrews (Watford)
Having signed only free transfer from fellow Championship clubs it may well be a struggle for Bolton to really improve on last season's performance. They shouldn't flirt with relegation like they did last season but given the strength of a number of other Championship clubs they might not progress much further than mid-table.