Ahead of Saturday's first ever clash against Bolton Wanderers, we spoke to Bolton News' Marc Iles for the latest on the Whites...
- What were the expectations around Bolton at the start of the season?
"Founder members of the Football League, Bolton Wanderers have only spent one season in the fourth tier of English football, and so no matter the circumstances that brought them into League Two there was always going to be huge pressure on the team to deliver a swift promotion.
There was talk of a "reset button" being pressed after the horrendous financial issues experienced under the previous ownership, and it's fair to say there was as much work to be done off the pitch for the current bunch in re-establishing Bolton's reputation as there was on it."
- And how would you assess the team after the first 12 games? Has League Two been more challenging than you imagined?
"I think the main challenges have come from within. Anyone expecting League Two teams to roll over and respect reputation were in for a rude awakening - and that will be especially the case this afternoon.
"Ian Evatt has had to graft a new style of possession-based football on a squad that contains 20-plus new players. So, for all the confident talk of promotion in the summer, it also had to be taken with a healthy dose of realism that it was not going to look great right away. Of course, we hope the end result will be worth the wait."
- Did last weekend’s win against Salford feel like a significant moment for Ian Evatt and the team?
"It felt like much of the season to date had been about repairing damage - much of it self-inflicted. There were clear confidence issues, which led to supporters understandably asking if the club had made the right choices over the summer. There were flecks of quality but not enough to muster any consistency of results.
"The Salford game was the first time it clicked properly. You got a 90-minute glimpse of the grand plan in which all the components were fit and firing. More of the same, please!"
- Finally, what’s your score prediction for Saturday’s game?
"Looking at Stevenage's results so far, no game has been entirely taken away from them, so I would expect things to be tight today. Given the Salford win, I think Bolton arrive in good mood - so I am going with a 1-0 win for the Wanderers."