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Will Madine sale stall Bolton recovery? Interview
Thursday, 15th Feb 2018 23:35 by Clive Whittingham

A nightmare start with no wins in 11 has been recovered from, but will the sale of striker Gary Madine derail Bolton’s survival bid? We asked Gabe John from the Burnden Aces blog…

How have Bolton recovered from a nightmare start of no wins in the first 11 league games?

The recovery has been miraculous. Phil Parkinson certainly turned it around after a frightening start. Evidently, Gary Madine’s form took off and we relied massively on his strengths to carry us forward. Credit does have to go to Parkinson, he is one of the best managers Wanderers have had in recent history and his charisma and determination to prove everyone wrong really shone through in a dark period.

What's the financial status of the club, despite a takeover a year or so back we still hear about winding up petitions and infighting and so on?

The financial status has improved gradually. We are still financially nowhere near any of the big boys, Villa and Wolves to name a few. However, it’s certainly a lot more stable than it was a few years back. The Gary Madine sale has surely boosted the club’s income for the time being. However ‘paper over cracks’ is a common phrase used with many of the Wanderers faithful.

We were astonished anybody wanted to pay £6m for Gary Madine, what's been the reaction to that deal?

The sale of Gary Madine was certainly viewed as disastrous with many Wanderers fans. The star man gone, many feared and still fear the worst. However, considering we didn’t pay a penny for him it was good business, but on the football side it could make or break Wanderers season, we shall see come end of May.

How's our old much-maligned Karl Henry done for you?

Karl Henry has been fantastic. He’s been a real dark horse this season and has played a massive role in central midfield. He has brought stability and considering his age, he covers a lot of ground. What was most needed though was his grit, determination and aggression, he really drives the midfield forward and likes to make a mark on the game and make the ball his. I like him!

Player of the season candidates?

Player of the season, Gary Madine would have definitely been up there but I would have to give it to Mark Little so far. His work goes unnoticed but his presence in the back line is vital. His ever growing partnership with Sammy Ameobi down the right flank is vital to how we play and I’ve been really impressed considering he didn’t cost a penny.

Weak links in the side?

Weak links, I think our weak link is the fact we score few goals. It’s always been a problem for many years, I think our defence is solid however we are vulnerable to bits of individual quality but our main problem will be putting the ball in the back of the net for sure.

How does the club progress from here in its current state?

I think survival this year would be massive. It would open so many doors for investment, Wanderers for once need stability and if we stay up this season this could be the rise of Bolton Wanderers again. Phil Parkinson will be hailed if he can secure safety, if we fail. Well I really do fear the worst for the future of the football club.

The Twitter @loftforwords, @burndenaces, @gabebwfc

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joolsyp added 00:03 - Feb 16
I never thought I'd hear the words "Karl Henry" and "really drives the midfield forwards" in the same sentence.

My word.
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stneotsbloke added 09:17 - Feb 16
Karl Henry would never be on anyone's list of the top R's players over the past 20 years but in my opinion he was unfairly maligned. He always gave 100% and was a good honest and hard working team player.
I'm sure he'll do a good job for Notlob. Not too good on Saturday though please !!
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TacticalR added 19:16 - Feb 16
Thanks to Gabe John.

You have to congratulate the Bolton board for not panicking and getting rid of Parkinson during that bad run at the beginning of the season.

I don't think we can take anything for granted tomorrow as Bolton have since picked up a bit of form since then.
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