Bolton Wanderers v Middlesbrough – Crunch time for Boro as they attempt to halt abysmal run

Middlesbrough manager Tony Pulis.
Middlesbrough manager Tony Pulis.
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ONE of tonight’s two combatants at the University of Bolton Stadium is on its worst run since 1954 and their fans are in open revolt against the manager.

The other is in such dire straits that their players went on strike last week for 48 hours and relegation from the Championship could be confirmed as early as the weekend.

If we win at Bolton and the others don’t then it is a point. With the games we have left, I fancy us to get quite a few points from them.

Tony Pulis

Welcome to Bolton Wanderers versus Middlesbrough, a battle between two clubs whose respective seasons have gone horribly sour.

The plight of the Trotters is most serious. The threat of liquidation remains after the latest winding up order, the club’s sixth in 18 months, was adjourned until the end of the season.

Last Saturday’s home game against Ipswich Town only went ahead after the club was advanced a payment early by the Football League so matchday staff and the emergency services could be paid.

Boro’s troubles are nothing like as bad but, equally, Tony Pulis desperately needs his team to pull off a win tonight as an unwanted joint club record of eight straight league defeats hones into view.

“Bolton is a massive game,” admitted the Boro manager, whose side sit eighth in the standings and four points adrift of Bristol City in the final play-off berth.

“We need a result and we need to get it quickly.

“If we win at Bolton and the others don’t then it is a point. With the games we have left, I fancy us to get quite a few points from them.”

Last six games: Bolton Wanderers LWLLWL, Middlesbrough LLLLLL. 
Referee: S Martin (Staffordshire). 
Last time: Bolton Wanderers 0 Middlesbrough 3; September 9, 2017; Championship.