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OPPOSITION FOCUS: BOLTON WANDERERS

4 June 2015



With Brighton & Hove Albion’s opponents for the 2015/16 Championship season now confirmed, the club’s media team will take a look at the Seagulls’ 23 opponents for the next campaign.
 

The third team to feature in our opposition focus series is Bolton Wanderers.

LAST SEASON
 
LEAGUE POSITION: 18th
 
FA CUP:  Fourth round
 
LEAGUE CUP: Third round
 
TOP GOALSCORER: Adam Le Fondre (8)


2014/15 SEASON REVIEW
 
Bolton Wanderers had a largely forgettable 2014/15 campaign, as the side never managed to shake off a dreadful start to the season which yielded just five points from their opening 10 games.
 
Dougie Freedman left the club by mutual consent on 3rd October, just two days after the 4-0 defeat against Fulham at Craven Cottage.
 
Interim head coach Andy Hughes took charge for the game against Bournemouth at the Macron Stadium as the Trotters suffered a 2-1 defeat.
 
Neil Lennon was appointed manager on 12th October and got off to a perfect start with a 1-0 win at Birmingham City six days later.
 
Eidur Gudjohnsen and Emile Heskey were two high-profile arrivals in December on free transfers to bolster the attack.
 
The Trotters' solid form continued going into the New Year as they reached the relative comfort of 14th place by the middle of January. But their form deteriorated from this point and only managed four wins from their remaining 22 games.
 
A 3-0 win at Cardiff City, along with draws at home to Charlton and away at Brentford, were enough to secure their Championship status for another season.
 
The team did have a respectable run to the Capital One Cup third round and suffered a narrow 2-1 defeat to the eventual winners Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.
 
Lennon’s side made it past their first hurdle in the FA Cup by beating Wigan 1-0 in round three and took Liverpool to a replay in round four, before being beaten 2-1 by the Reds at the Macron.

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LAST TIME WE MET






BOLTON 1
Clough ‘64

ALBION 0
 
Albion’s four-game unbeaten run came to an end following this 1-0 defeat to Bolton Wanderers at the Macron Stadium.
 
Zach Clough’s 64th-minute header was enough to claim all three points for the Trottters as the Seagulls remained six points above the relegation zone.
 
Albion thought they had opened the scoring on six minutes as Craig Mackail-Smith’s pin-point ball was volleyed goalwards by Sam Baldock, only for Bolton keeper Ben Amos to produce a fantastic reaction save.
Amos made two further crucial saves in the second half; the first to deny Beram Kayal shortly after the restart, before keeping out a strike from Sam Baldock.
 
The result was Albion’s first defeat since a 3-2 loss at home to Nottingham Forest on 7th February.
 
Bolton line-up: Amos; Vela, Wheater, Mills, Ream; Fenney (McNaughton 65), Danns (Moxey 88), Bannan; Clough; Heskey (Gudjohnsen 79), Le Fondre.
 
Subs not used: Fitzsimons (GK), Dervite, Janko, Walker.
 
Albion line-up: Stockdale; Bruno (Stephens 60), Greer, Dunk, Bennett; Ince, Kayal (O’Grady 82); Calderon, Teixeira, Baldock; Mackail-Smith (LuaLua 74).

Subs not used: Walton (GK), Hughes, Ledesma, Best.

THE MANAGER


The former Northern Ireland international had a distinguished playing career with the likes of Leicester City in the Premier League, before a trophy-laden seven-year period at Celtic between 2000 and 2007.
 
He had spells with Nottingham Forest and Wycombe Wanderers after leaving the Scottish giants, before returning to the Glasgow side as a coach and was eventually appointed their permanent manager in June 2010.
 
Lennon won three SPL titles during his four seasons in charge at Parkhead before announcing his decision to leave in May 2014.
 
The 43-year-old was then appointed as the new Bolton boss in October 2014 and signed a four-year contract.

2015/16 AMBITIONS
 
Like with many clubs going into the new campaign, it is all change at the Macron Stadium with no fewer than 13 players set to be released at the end of June.
 
Among the more high-profile departures include Matt Mills, Craig Davies, Andrew Lonergan, Jermaine Beckford and former Albion loanee Keith Andrews.
 
Chris Lester, Georg Iliev, Luke Woodland, Glenn Matthews, Ryan Sellers, James Ball, Carl Kennedy and Kieran Nolan will also leave this month.

The Whites will certainly hope that their new-look squad will see the side challenge higher up the table in the new campaign, but a lot will depend on the progress of the club’s younger players.
 
These include the likes of Zach Clough, Josh Vela, Max Clayton and Tom Walker, who have all had impressive campaigns in 2014/15.
 
Eidur Gudjohnsen is also reportedly in talks over a new contract at the club and could be a valuable asset in the new campaign after scoring seven goals in 25 appearances last term.

UPCOMING HOME FIXTURES

ALBION V SEVILLA

SUNDAY 2ND AUGUST, KICK-OFF 4PM



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