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Pre Bolton | Steve Cotterill

21 April 2023


Pre Bolton | Steve Cotterill

21 April 2023

Steve Cotterill met with the press ahead of our trip to face Bolton Wanderers.

Town head to the University of Bolton Stadium tomorrow on the back of putting in two excellent displays against Portsmouth and Plymouth over the past week.

Those performances were achieved despite a raft of injury problems with Dan Udoh, George Nurse, Tom Bayliss, Rekeil Pyke, Matt Pennington and Christian Saydee all in the treatment room.

Town's players battled their way to an excellent point against Portsmouth and on another day could have had all three.

We then took the lead against league leaders Plymouth only for Argyle to snatch the points with a 96th-minute winner.

Speaking to the assembled media, Steve discussed recent performances as well as morale in the camp. And the boss also gave a fitness update ahead of tomorrow's game. 


"I said to the boys this morning 'what have your last couple of days been like?' And they said 'a little bit down.' But I've been absolutely fine.

"I was gutted the other night after the game and rightly so. But I've been fine, and normally the reaction tells me what sort of performance we put in.

"We could easily be sat here with four points out of those last two games, easily.

"And sometimes you go and get three points when you think it's going to be a tough game here or there, like Bolton for instance at the weekend.

"We're going looking to put in another good performance up there.

"We've been really good in the last two games, irrespective of what we've been up against - we've been really, really, good.

"I'm just hoping we can continue that in the last four games."


"They know the story now. If they're all in then I won't have a problem, and they've been all in.

"What are we on, 42 games? By the time we get to 46, there probably won't be five games where I would think they weren't all in, so they've been really, really, good and I don't envisage that changing.

"We've gone out there [the training pitch] this morning and they were excellent. Really, really, good. 

"It was a terrible morning, it lashed down the whole time we were out there.

"But we've had a really good morning and we're looking forward to the game."


"Everyone's good, everyone's good! As I said, we're looking forward to the game.

"Everybody is fine, we're not down in the dumps. We were the other night and probably felt a bit sorry for ourselves but I think that was right.

"Sometimes when things don't go right for you you have that period of mourning if you know what I mean.

"We've done that, recovered quickly and now we're looking forward to the game."


"Not enough that I can give you really, we're a little bit day-by-day with that. Hand on heart I'd like to give you some positive news but I won't know that until tomorrow.

"People have stepped up again a little bit so I just need to see the reaction to that."


"Flano is suspended for two games so he's not available for this game anyway.

"To be honest he wouldn't have been fit so if there's ever a time to have suspension it's when your player is injured.

"As I said when Tom played the other day (against Portsmouth), he should never have played really and he did so all credit to him.

"But even if he wasn't suspended he wouldn't be ready to play."


"They've had to. But as I said in a team meeting this morning, it's hard to bridge a gap for those boys.

"We haven't got a facility where we can bridge a gap, we're looking at 18/19-year-old lads when they come out of the youth team and expecting them to be League One players, fully grown men.

"Unless you grow quickly like Tom Bloxham did, Tom had an easier transition from the youth team to men's football.

"Even though he had a young boy's mind, he had a bit of a man's body and the other boys aren't maturing at the same rate.

"Everyone matures differently and it's almost unfair because you judge them when they're 18 and fresh out of the youth team.

"But what I can't do is afford to player collect, I can't afford to do that.

"We have to keep rolling with what will be the best 18-year-olds and try and find a pathway and hope that one of them stands out and does what a Tom Bloxham did a couple of years ago

"[It's] incredibly difficult all-round. What you would like to do is have a 23s team where you could get that group of 18/19-year-olds and put them into a team.

"That's why I played them in those Papa John's Trophy games early on because as a football club, it's the only way I get to look at them playing men's football.

"I don't always get to see them in the youth team either because they play when we play."


"He could've had one more if you think about the chance he had against Pompey.

"Killian's a great lad, we've been delighted with him. We've had him and Robert Street out of Crystal Palace and they've been great lads.

"The only regret is that we couldn't have Killian when we wanted him at the start of the season. 

"I think Crystal Palace are quite happy with how we've looked after those two and given them really good game time as well because that's the best thing you could give a young player.

"If those two lads had gone somewhere else, they could've been higher up the table but played half the games.

"That's not the idea of it. When we loan players here, we hope they come off and get a lot of game time, [the] same as what's happened with Christian Saydee as well.

"Being a young player and coming into an established League One club, you want them to be playing matches and we've managed to do that for Crystal Palace but they've also done us a huge favour as well so huge thanks to them."


"They're going for the play-off places and we're going to see if we can still finish in that top 10, so both teams have a lot to play for.

"We've been in that top ten for most of the season and that's where we want to finish if we possibly can.

"Bolton have had a successful season already with their win at Wembley. I like Ian [Evatt], I think he's done a really good job with Bolton. I think he's matured as a manager as well which I think is important.

"I think they've got a really good team, a really good fanbase, play at a great stadium - I don't think there's any more superlatives I can give them!"


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