Bolton Wanderers Promotion Chances Dealt Major Boost

Bolton Wanderers look set to be dealt a major boost in their quest for promotion with striker Dion Charles potentially available for selection within the next week.

Charles has not featured for the club since their 2-1 win over Wycombe Wanderers on the 13th of February. It is fair to say that Bolton have struggled in his absence and have lost some ground in the title race as a result.

In the five games in which the striker has missed so far, the Wanderers have picked up just seven points. Although they are still sat in third, joint on points with Derby County with a game in hand, they are now seven points behind table-toppers Portsmouth.

To make matters worse, Barnsley, who have a game in hand over them, now sit just three points behind after a great recent run of wins. Significantly, the two teams meet on Tuesday night which at this point can be considered a six-pointer for an automatic promotion spot. Given their recent winning run, Barnsley might be considered favourites and would dislodge Ian Evatt’s side in third with a win.

However Bolton could be dealt a rather large boost with the news that Dion Charles could well make a return for the pivotal game on Tuesday.

Speaking to The Bolton News, manager Evatt gave an update on Charles’ injury, suggesting a return is imminent.

“Dion has been on the grass today and he is improving all the time. We will see how that develops but other than that, we are clear for Saturday.”

Evatt also wanted to highlight that the game on Tuesday night was an incredibly important one in the course of the club’s season.

“I think we have been in the top three for the last 23 weeks so we are in an automatic promotion fight. We were never really in it last season so, for me, that is progress.

“There are some huge games coming up and they all count for three points, but obviously against the direct competitions it becomes the proverbial six-pointer.

“We understand the importance of the game but in no way, shape or form should we become fearful about it. We know we have to perform well and if we do, hopefully we can get the result we need.”

Saturday brings another opportunity for three points away from home as the Whites face an out-of-form Exeter City. Two wins from their next two games could put the Wanderers right back in the title fight, and the return of Charles will further aid that cause.

Writer’s View

Tuesday night is indeed a huge game for Bolton as they face direct competition in the form of Barnsley. It is by no means an easy game, however they cannot afford to lose if they do want to keep any sort of title ambitions alive. The fight for automatic promotion is more than on though, and Evatt might be content with a point to rivals away from home.

Once Charles returns from injury, it can be expected that Bolton get back to their best as something has seen amiss in his absence. It will be a boost if he is back for the Barnsley game, however it could be perceived as a risky decision. All being well, he could be in the starting lineup against Exeter, which will come as a huge boost to both the team’s as well as fans’ morale.

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