Are Bolton Wanderers ready for the new season?

Bolton Wanderers will start the 2020/21 season this coming Saturday as Bradford City come to the University of Bolton Stadium.

And after welcoming Crewe Alexandra three days later in the EFL Trophy, the Whites will then host Forest Green Rovers on the opening day of the League Two campaign on Saturday 12th September.

The last of these matches will be the first time the club has played a competitive fixture in the fourth tier of English football since May 1988.

But how prepared are they for what’s to come over the next 9-10 months?

Bolton FM sports presenter Jim Bailey told MM: “The pre-season has been very optimistic I think. With the team being quite a fresh team I think it’s been quite a positive one.”

The community radio station has gained commentary rights to broadcast matches on the air, something they had started doing last October before the season was curtailed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

And Jim thinks that the station is better equipped to deal with the enormous task at hand for this term.

“I think we’ve learnt a lot from last season and it’ll show.

“I think we’ll have a more organised, more energetic, more driven presentation this time around.”

But with coronavirus stopping from fans from attending matches for now, Jim seems convinced that a lack of crowd could prove to both a good and a bad thing for the players.

“We’ve seen with the end of the Premier League and the European competitions behind closed doors that some players have not been quite as good as you’d expect, some players really do feed off that atmosphere of the crowd.

“But I think there’s some players who’ve felt freed by not having that pressure.”

If Bolton Wanderers are to thrive under new manager Ian Evatt, then maybe not playing in front of large numbers of spectators could be the first step in what will prove to be a long road back to League One and beyond, even in these different circumstances that we find ourselves in.

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