Tag Archives: liam bridcutt

3 words to sum up Bolton’s win over Man City Under 21’s

Last night, Bolton Wanderers faced Man City Under 21’s in the Leasing.com Trophy. They managed to win 3-1 and here’s three words to describe their performance.

In other rounds of this competition, Bolton had to put a very young team out to fulfill fixtures.

However, last night they were able to compete with a full team of experienced players.

The improvements in the team were obvious as Bolton managed to win 3-1. Bolton went 1-0 up early on with a goal from Ali Crawford.

Yoan Zouma put the ball in the back of his own net to give Man City an equaliser. However, that wasn’t enough as Chris O’Grady managed to score twice giving Bolton the win.

Here’s three words with explanations to sum up their performance…


The scoreline obviously shows that Bolton had a great game. However,the thing that stood out for me as a Bolton fan was how solid the team were as a whole.

Having Chris O’Grady, Joe Dodoo and Ali Crawford work together is proving to be the attacking force that Bolton needed.


What Keith Hill has done with this team is brilliant. The transformation from the start of the season is evident.

Man City Under 21’s have a very talented squad, compared to Bolton who have only been together for a matter of months. To beat this team with a solid performance is also brilliant.


However, despite the positives, things seem to be going one step forward and 5 steps back for Bolton.

A few weeks ago, Liam bridcutt who is arguably Bolton’s best player, was injured. This was a big blow for the team and now they’ve had another one.

Ali Crawford went down with what looked like a serious knee injury later on in the game. That is one more player they’ll be without if the injury proved to be a serious as it seemed.

2 in-form players for Bolton Wanderers that need to play Rochdale this weekend

Bolton Wanderers face Rochdale this weekend in another attempt to earn some points. The Football Manc Cave are picking out two players who should get a game.

Bolton’s performances have improved massively since the start of the season. They face a 17th placed Rochdale.

In Bolton’s last League game, Liam Bridcutt was unfortunately injured. This is a big blow for the improving squad. However, goals are needed.

This is why I’ve picked out two players who could help with that this weekend…

Daryl Murphy

The striker made his Bolton debut against Blackpool. He looked strong and confident.

At the end of the game, he spoke about the fact that goals are needed and more chances need creating.

It’s clear that he has an eye for goal and is driven to find the target. He also worked well with Joe Dodoo once he entered the pitch. So it will be interesting to see Keith Hill’s team this weekend.

Sonny Graham

Sonny was a part of the youth squad that opened this season for Bolton.

He made an impression on fans then and has since made the bench most games. When Liam Bridcutt left the pitch last week, Graham replaced him.

Even though there was a bit of doubt to see if he would be able to work to the same standard, he definitely proved himself. It will be great to see him in action again against Rochdale.

Wonderful: This Hill signing has been amazing for Bolton so far

Bolton Wanderers have started to take shape with a new pick of players for Keith Hill to choose from. The Football Manc Cave is looking at which signing has stood out so far.

Every player that Keith Hill has managed to bring in has contributed amazingly to the squad every game that they’ve been involved. Picking one is a hard choice because there’s quite a few that as a Bolton fan, I would want to keep.

Jack Hobbs is obviously a returning signing. He let the take over of the club settle before resigning a contract and I’m so glad he did. The defence has been much stronger with him in it and he constantly makes the league team of the week along with getting the man of the match against Blackpool.

Another player who has impressed a lot is Ali Crawford. His free kicks are sublime and his corners are nearly always spot on. He’s had a great run for us too and will continue to impress I’m sure.

Stoke man is impressing

A close second to the player I have chosen is Thibaud Verlinden. The 20-year-old winger has been loaned to us from Stoke. He scored on his debut for us, he gets stuck in and attacks every game, makes a nice pairing with all the other midfielders and wingers and is exciting.

This is why Stoke will be happy to claim their man back when his loan spell is over. Most never wanted him to go in the first place and now you can see why.

However, the player that I have had to pick is, of course, Liam Bridcutt. One of the best players I’ve seen in a Bolton shirt in a very long time. His skill on the ball is brilliant, he’s fast, not scared of any opposition and a strong leader. This is why every Bolton fan is feeling deflated today because he picked up an injury last night.

He fractured his collar bone and could potentially be put for 8 weeks. This could mean that we never get to see him in a Bolton shirt again. With his loan spell coming to an end and he’ll be back at Nottingham Forest before he’s ready to play again.

When you watch him play, you can certainly tell that he’s been around. He started off at Chelsea in their youth teams and now at 30 years old, he’s been at Stockport, Sunderland and Leeds to mention a few places.

Keith Hill doesn’t seem too bothered by it, as he knows he has other capable players and has been prepared for any injuries. It just would have been nice to have Bridcutt in the team a little longer because he made us long stronger.

Bolton should line up like this tonight as they search for their first win under Hill

Bolton Wanderers Keith Hill

Keith Hill’s Bolton side are about to face Blackpool tonight. The Football Manc Cave is looking at how the Trotters side should line up.

Before the kick-off at the University of Bolton Stadium tonight at 8 pm, we are looking at which players should get to start in trying to keep Keith Hill’s sides performance strong.

They have proven recently that they’re turning things around and just looking at the transformation in their score sheets each week confirms that. They recently managed a draw with Rochdale in the Football League Trophy, after a 1-1, they only lost on penalties.

Their 1-0 loss to Portsmouth was unfortunate as it only came in the second half after a great performance again. Another frustrating scoreline was when they drew 1-1 with Sunderland, as it looked like they would take all three points until they gave a penalty away. Bolton’s first win is on the cards.

Blackpool is currently 5th in the league and are on 19 points. It’s going to be a hard match for Bolton, however, Blackpool’s most recent form looks like this; 2-1 win against Lincoln, 1-1 draw with Accrington Stanley and won 1-0 against Doncaster. Even though they’re on good form, they’re not scoring loads of goals each week and it’s only small score sheets like 1-0 wins.

This is something Bolton could take advantage of and try to get a point out of it. Here’s how I think Keith Hill should line his team up…

Remi Matthews obviously deserves his place in goal and that won’t change. The defence should line up with Josh Emmanuel on the right, Yoan Zouma and Jack Hobbs in the middle and Adam Chicksen on the left. These four seem to do well together.

Jack Hobbs has had a great season so far and even though Yoan Zouma gave away the penalty against Sunderland. I think starting him is the right thing to do, it will help with his confidence and keep him going mentally.

Bolton’s midfield

In midfield, Liam Bridcutt obviously should go out as Captain in the middle as he’s proving to be a great leader and motivation for the rest of the midfield. Jason Lowe should accompany him with Ali Crawford and Will Buckley and Thibaud Verlinden on each wing.

Keith Hill has been working on fitness within the squad and even though Verlinden is excellent on the ball, he was replaced against Rochdale in the 61st minute by Dennis Politic. This is another sensible decision as the pair are both great additions to the team and should both be given a chance but we don’t want either to get injured.

Bolton attack

Upfront should be Daryl Murphy. He’s a new signing who has been out but now is fit again. He does have some competition now though however as Bolton signed Joe Dodoo this week.

If Keith Hill sticks to his sensible style of planning, he will probably keep him on the bench for his first game with the Whites and only bring him on in the second half but we will see later tonight.

How has Keith Hill transformed Bolton Wanderers’ in his first month

Bolton Wanderers are beginning to pick up points finally and The Football Manc Cave is looking at what Keith Hill has done to achieve this so far.

When you look at the Bolton scores from the first couple of weeks of the season and compare them to now, it’s a completely different level. Since Keith Hill has been appointed as manager, if you ignore the 6-1 loss at Rotherham, he’s got a point against Oxford United and another against Sunderland last weekend after being in front for the majority of the game.

What has he done to achieve such a difference?

Before there’s any misunderstanding here, I am not disregarding Phil Parkinson. His style of play may have not been to everyone’s standard, however, he stuck around when times were rough.

He kept us up and got us promoted in his time with us, and he only gave up when he felt the time was right to give another person the responsibilities that he had been carrying for a long time. That man will always be remembered for sticking by us and doing what he could with such a young squad.

Looking at the here and now, Keith Hill has come in and had new players sign for the club on loan spells to help us out. He has had less than a month to get these lads playing together well enough to earn some points.

Bolton went 1-0 up against Rotherham and fans thought that was the start of something special. When you look at the final result of that game, it did turn into something quite different. However, fans got a glimpse of how the newly formed squad would be playing and Keith Hill got a taste of what he would have to do on the training ground to achieve more.

Here are some things that I think he has done in order to achieve success…

Jason Lowe

The man who received a lot of negative comments in the early stages of the season and why? Because he was going out as Captain and we weren’t playing well enough.

However, Keith Hill has come in and taken that Captain’s armband from him and it’s the best thing he could have ever done for the midfielder. Let’s be honest here, he was only made Captain in the first place because of the age of all the squad players, the inexperience of most and the fact that someone needed to go out as Captain once David Wheater left.

This knocked his confidence as a player and there was a lot of pressure on him. Now fans are seeing a different player because he doesn’t have that added pressure on him, and is open to being a wider and more attacking midfielder now.

He has been given Liam Bridcutt as a partner in the middle. The loanee has taken the Captain’s armband which is proving to be the right decision and has made a positive impact on the team.

Younger Players

It’s also no secret that a lot of the younger players had to go out and try and play for points in the early stages of the season. Fans have got those players down as legends now and constantly said that they didn’t want their efforts to go unnoticed.

Even though we have more experienced players in the squad now, fans wanted to see some of the youngsters on the bench and getting rewarded with more playing time.

That is exactly what Keith Hill has done but in the completely correct and sensible way. Everyone has noticed that Dennis Politic has the capability and standard of play to be in the first-team squad. He has remained in the starting line up which is brilliant for him. If he had have gone back on the bench each week, that could have knocked his confidence.

There are also players like Yoan Zouma, (let’s not talk about the penalty he gave away at the weekend, it literally could have been anyone that gave a handball at that stage). Zouma has been getting brought on in the second half of games which is sensible because he’s not yet at the level to start games. Although, giving him playing time will see him earn that spot eventually.


And finally, the most important thing he has done is, to be honest, and not have high expectations. He has said that he would need time and he even addressed the fact that by saying that, he may receive some comments saying he’s making excuses.

However, in actual fact, time is exactly what he needed. He’s already getting draws with this squad and it’s not even been a month yet. So imagine what will come in a couple of months.

The most impressive thing is the fact he’s not had high expectations and recognises that it’s going to be a hard journey, although he has given Bolton fans the one thing they needed. Hope.

Bolton will run Sunderland close today with these players in the starting line up

Bolton managed to take their second point of the season from a goalless draw against Oxford this week. Keith Hill’s team will be looking to perform just as well against Sunderland this weekend.

Bolton had only managed to get one point so far this season and that took them to -11. On Tuesday night, they took on Oxford at home and managed to get another point. This seems like it’s the start of the season now for Bolton.

Keith Hill’s first game in charge saw Bolton go 1-0 up only to lose 6-1 against Rotherham. Now that we’ve have seen what the Bolton team is capable of against Oxford, there will be happier fans in the stadium this weekend. Sunderland currently sit 4th in the league on 15 points so this will be tough.

Team News:

With the 0-0 draw in mind, clearly the Trotters defence delivered a brilliant game and that showed when their two centre backs, Jack Hobbs and Jake Wright made the FLW League One Team Of The week.

These two will have to start against Sunderland in order to stand a chance. Josh Emmanuel also has been performing well at the back so should remain in the starting line up. Liam Bridcutt has been going out as Captain and this seems to be working well. He’s another player who fans and the league are keeping an eye on as he looks promising.

Thibaud Verlinden is enjoying his time with Bolton and got his professional goal for the club against Rotherham. He will be looking to get another in front of the home fans. Dennis Politic is also remaining in that starting line up which is something I’ve wanted despite having new signings.


Despite being 4th in the league, they only drew their last game against Rotherham 1-1. They’ve also suffered losses to Peterborough and the majority of their wins have been 2-1 score lines.

I think if Bolton plays as they did against Oxford, especially at the back, they might be able to give them a game. I’m not sure if a win will be on the cards but I’m hoping they can go out to get another point.

3 changes Hill should make for Bolton against Oxford tonight

Bolton Wanderers lost 6-1 to Rotherham this weekend and The Football Manc Cave is looking at what Keith Hill could do in order to change things around next week.

Keith Hill has had a very difficult job to walk into. He’s having to take over a club who are on -11 points, have a huge goal difference, the obvious problems behind the scenes that have just been sorted out and a relatively new squad with youngsters and new signings.

I didn’t have high expectations for his first game in charge so when we went 1-0 up, I was shocked. The 6-1 defeat that came after this clearly had me feeling a little different, however, it’s more like the scoreline I expected.

It’s going to take a bit of time for things to start developing as the new team gel together and the manager adapts to his new job, however, here’s a few things he could do next week…

Ronan Darcy

A lot of Bolton fans will have the youngsters who had to play under Phil Parkinson down as legends. These teenagers gave it their all in League One when they were all called to action. Fans have made it pretty clear that they didn’t want these squad members completely dropped, now that new and more experienced players were in the mix.

Keith Hill did listen to this on Saturday in some areas, however, one decision he did make was to start Luke Murphy. In the 62nd minute, Hill subbed him for the youngster, Ronan Darcy. A couple of minutes later, Rotherham scored another goal, although that would be their last.

This for me goes to show that Darcy had an effect on the game and this change was appropriate. Going into the next game, maybe Hill should consider starting Darcy and bringing Murphy on if things go wrong.

Jason Lowe

Keith Hill made a very bold and brave decision by benching Jason Lowe this weekend. A lot of fans were quite happy about this because they believed other players should be taking his place.

He’s been going out as Captain in Bolton’s opening campaign for the season and this is why this change was a big one. However, opinions soon changed when the man Hill replaced him with, James Weir clearly couldn’t handle the pressure of the game and was subbed off in the 39th minute.

Things weren’t working and Jason Lowe replaced Weir at this point. Things didn’t exactly improve but at this stage, maybe the experience is needed in that area.


When you watch the highlights of the game, all you can see is yellow shirts chasing the ball or chasing the player who has broken into the attacking half. It was all a bit scrambled at that back and unorganised.

The scoreline clearly shows that. Keith Hill needs to work closely with his team to sort this issue out. In my opinion, Yoan Zouma should be given a chance. He might be a younger player, however, he’s become a fan favourite and does offer a threat at the back.

A lot of fans, including myself, are getting a little tired of watching all these goals creep past Remi Matthews, so it would be nice to see Ben Alnwick back in action.

Two more little notes that I think Keith Hill should consider is keeping Liam Bridcutt as our Captain. He put on a good display and fans were impressed by him.

One more thing is keeping Dennis Politic in the starting line up. He is a player that I have continued to put in my prediction of the starting line up, even with new options. He will turn into a heavily wanted player by other clubs, so let’s get the most out of him before he decides to leave us.

Keith Hill keeps Bolton fans in suspense over starting 11 against Rotherham, here’s how they should line up…

The Football Manc Cave is looking at how the newly bought Bolton Wanderers should line up this weekend.

Just like many other Bolton fans, I’ve been guessing at the starting line up that Keith Hill will put out against Rotherham on his first game in charge. Everything has been kept quite secret from the fans, and the anticipation is great. It’s like our season is just starting because we’ve got a new manager, new players and this weekends game will be exciting for fans.

We don’t even know the squad numbers of the new players yet so this will also be interesting. Fans know that Hill has a variety of new options to throw in the mix at Rotherham. However, fans are united in saying that the youngsters who kept playing for us throughout difficult times, should not be forgotten or left out of the squad.

I had a guess at what team Keith Hill would put out as soon as the new signings were announced. However, it’s recently been revealed that Joe Bunney, our new loanee left-back, has been involved in a car accident that has required us to look at other options for left-back.

So here’s my predicted 11…

New signing, Josh Emmanuel should be given a shot at right back to see how he copes, if things are going wrong, youngster Harry Brockbank can come on to pick up the pieces. Liam Edwards should go back into the central defence and help out fan favourite Yoan Zouma. The left-back position could be filled in by Joe White. However, Keith Hill might have a plan B that we don’t know about.

Dennis Politic

Luke Murphy and Jason Lowe remain experienced in the middle and supported by Ali Crawford on the left-wing, Thibaud Verlinden on the right and the very talented Dennis Politic who should be in the squad supporting the wingers and striker. Liam Bridcutt will more than likely be on the bench and can be brought on if needed.

Daryl Murphy is down as one to watch this weekend, most think he will be starting for the Wanderers and be alone up front. I agree and hope that we’ve been working hard on the training ground to be able to attack.

Whichever team Hill goes with, we need to earn points and get that goal difference down. However, it is just nice to be able to talk about and watch football again!

Bolton Wanderers finally looking good for the future

It was a busy day at Bolton Wanderers on Monday as the signings kept on being made. Here’s my opinion on all 9.

The Football Manc Cave have been monitoring Bolton all summer with their takeover news, and now that they have finally been bought. Their new owners have got the show on the road and new signings have been made.

Monday saw nine new players come into the club under Keith Hill and it’s got fans excited. I am going to give you a rundown on who they are and my opinion as a Bolton fan myself. But first, jokes aside that some fans have been making, I just want to say that a week ago, we were in the worst state possible and we were threatened as a club. I’m so glad that we have survived and it’s nice to finally have something to shout about, AND to be able to actually talk about football again instead of ‘what deadline have the EFL given us now?’

So here goes…

The first signing to be made yesterday was Thibaud Verlinden. He has joined the club on loan from Stoke City. He’s a highly-rated 20-year-old winger. When Bolton fans asked about him, Stoke fans were the first to say that we had made a great signing because he should have been in their first team according to some. I think he will be dangerous and will make a big impact during his time with us.

Liam Bridcutt became the next addition. The midfielder has joined Bolton from Nottingham Forest on loan up until January. He started his career at Chelsea and has had loan spells with Yeovil, Watford and Stockport. He’s also enjoyed his time at Brighton, Leeds and Sunderland so he’s definitely got the experience. A Brighton fan told the eager Trotters fans that we had gotten ourselves an unbelievable player who had a great run at other clubs, which saw him be a contender for man of the match 9/10 times. I can’t wait to see him in action.

Will Buckley became the next man on the list. Like most Bolton fans, I think he has been quite poor for us in the past and this wasn’t the news that most were hoping for. However, I’m still in that mindset of ‘we’re lucky to be a club’ so I’ll take whatever we can get. Also, now that we have a new manager with a different mindset, maybe he will perform better.

Jake Wright was added to the squad to add some strength at the back. The defender has League one experience which we need as he helped Sheffield United win league one. The defence is something we need urgently so I’m happy with this. He’s perfect for league one level.

Signings galore for Bolton

Another midfielder, this time from Doncaster, Ali Crawford was next to be announced. He’s also known for scoring a few goals which are something that would be massively appreciated by fans. Let’s hope he can have a good spell with us as he’s here until the end of the season.

Chris O’Grady was the next man that Keith Hill managed to get the signature of. He left Oldham to join us until the end of this campaign. I’m going to say it again, at least we have made a signing, however, a lot of fans were quick to react to this news with the typical banter. Most say this was just a joke until the next new signing. Let’s give him a chance though, like I said, new manager, new mindset.

Full-back Josh Emmanuel was next to sign until the end of the season. The 22-year-old has been brought in to help us out at the back and I’m happy with this. We definitely need to start by sorting our defence out so we can stop conceding as many goals and then eventually start scoring some instead. It’s nice to see us have some experienced options at the back.

Joe Bunney was also brought in to help out the back four. Northampton Town has given him to us until the end of the season. The 25-year-old was another player who received some backlash from fans. He divided fans after some said he has had great spells before, others saying he’s poor, either way, it will be interesting to see him in action and see how he gets on. My guess is that most of these newbies will seem quite average or poor initially as it takes time to gel as a team, stand out players will come in time.

And finally, the news that all Bolton fans wanted yesterday the most, Daryl Murphy finally put pen to paper. The 36-year-old striker was who fans wanted to hear the announcement of all day and when it was finally made, everyone was happy. He will be perfect in league one and hopefully will be able to create quite a few goals for us in his time at the University of Bolton Stadium, it’s about time, we need them!

‘ANNOUNCE LEAGUE ONE WINNERS 19/20’ Bolton Wanderers fans react to signing after signing on deadline day

Bolton Wanderers fans had a busy day yesterday keeping up with their clubs last-minute signings and The Football Manc Cave are taking a look at your reactions.

Bolton has been in need of some new signings for quite some time and now that this new take over enables them to do so, they have arrived. Finally, Bolton can start to compete in the league with a fair team and it will be like a fresh start for the new manager, Keith Hill.

A total of 9 players signed on the dotted line yesterday and fans were loving it. So strap yourself in, we’re going to go through the day and get some of your best reactions…

After the signing of Jack Hobbs had already been announced at the weekend, this was what kickstarted yesterday:

Bolton fans were quick to jump on this

Me a couple of minutes later, they stuck to their promise and the announcement of Thibaud Verlinden from Stoke City was made.

Next up, Liam Bridcutt became the next signing…

Will Buckley’s return to the club was next on the cards…

Jake Wright was next…

Ali Crawford was next in Keith Hill’s plan…

And then Chris O’Grady got himself a contract until the end of the year.

Josh Emmanuel was next…

But Bolton has put out the wrong picture in a manic rush

Joe Bunney then made his move…

The news that fans were begging for finally came in, the signing of Daryl Murphy…

And that was all! Let’s hope Keith Hill can get these players ready for the league and have a fresh start. This will now give the youngsters a chance to rest but their efforts will never be forgotten. It will be nice to see some of them just coming on as a sub, rather than having to push 90 minutes a game being tired and unfit.

Come on Bolton!