Trotters still have everything to play for

Wednesday 17th April 2013 8:05

Danny Butterfield and Lloyd Dyer: Battle for the ball on Tuesday night

Danny Butterfield and Lloyd Dyer: Battle for the ball on Tuesday night

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Bolton FanZoner Mickey Holland gives his take on Wanderers' 3-2 defeat at Leicester and believes all is not lost in the Trotters' play-off bid.

All Wanderers fans will be disappointed we could not build on the win at Bristol City by getting a result at Leicester on Tuesday night but all is not lost and the race to finish in the play-off places is still going to the wire.

After taking a look through the remaining fixtures there is plenty to be positive about and I still think we are in a great position to make the top six if we carrying on playing like we are.

Like Dougie Freedman said after the game, it could have gone either way, on this occasion it went against us, but there can be no complaints about the application of the players and that should stand us in good stead.

Thankfully two of our last three fixtures are at the Reebok against Middlesbrough on Saturday then Blackpool on the last day of the regular season and two wins should be enough to get us in the play-offs.

Sandwiched in between is a trip to Cardiff and now they have already been promoted to the Premier League, that could also work in our favour, so don't rule out a positive result there either.

Out of the teams looking to secure a play-off place, we look to have the best run in, and there are some interesting games on the horizon for our rivals, starting this weekend when Crystal Palace entertain Leicester.

Palace seemed to be nailed on for a play-off place at one point but all of a sudden they are looking vulnerable after the 3-0 drubbing at Ipswich on Tuesday night.

The final day of the season also throws up another beauty as Nottingham Forest entertain Leicester and there is a very good chance a packed Reebok will be tuning into that game as well.

One thing is for certain, life is never dull as a Bolton fan! Can you remember the last time we were sat in mid-table with nothing to play for? I can't.

We are either pushing for promotion or battling to stay up and not too long ago we were also trying to hang on to a European place!

This season is no different. If you'd asked me six months ago I'd have said we'd be battling relegation once again, so all credit has to go to Freedman, his coaching staff and of course the players for putting us in with a chance of the top six.

Keeping everyone fit is also going be crucial and I'm afraid to say it does not look good regards the injury to Jay Spearing, who has been a revelation under the leadership of Freedman.

It looked as though the toe injury that forced him off against Bristol City was nothing serious but Freedman confirmed after the Foxes game that he could be looking at three weeks on the sidelines.

That means he could have a chance of making the Blackpool game on May 4th and the play-offs if we get there, but his absence over the next couple of games is a big blow nonetheless.

We managed to cope with the loss of Mark Davies, who picked up a serious knee injury, and it looks as though we will have to do it again unless Spearing makes a miraculous recovery.

Medo is a tidy player and can step in, while Josh Vela earned praise for his performance before being replaced by Craig Davies on Tuesday night, and hopefully they can step up to the plate over the next few weeks.

There is also a big concern over David Ngog who damaged his shoulder on Tuesday night and Freedman will be praying it is nothing serious.

It was interesting to see that Kevin Davies didn't even make the bench with young Tom Eaves taking his place after a successful loan spell at Shrewsbury, and it looks to be a case of out with the old and in with the new.

Eaves has been scoring goals for fun, albeit in League One, and it could be another shrewd move by Freedman to introduce a youngster full of confidence, someone who may be able to come on and nick a winner from somewhere.

So lets not be too disheartened, there is still all to play for and we need to pick ourselves up and make sure we get the win against Boro, which, if other results go our way, will put us back in the top six with two games remaining. Come on you Whites!

Follow Mickey on Twitter at @Mickey_Holland.



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