Bakayoko, wing-backs, table – four ups and one down from Bolton Wanderers’ win over Oxford United



Bolton Wanderers have made it seven games unbeaten in League One after coming from behind to beat Oxford United 3-2.

Wanderers went behind early on at the Kassam Stadium due to Billy Bodin’s great free-kick, but Declan John equalized immediately afterwards as Bolton drew level.

Bodin struck again for the second time later on in the first, but Marlon Fossey drew Wanderers level again for the second time in the encounter after half-time.

READMORE: ‘Not acceptable’ – Karl Robinson’s claim about Bolton Wanderers’ winning goal vs Oxford United

The game looked like it was heading towards the spoils being shared, but Amadou Bakayoko struck before full-time to give Wanderers all three points for a huge win against the U’s as Bolton went seven games unbeaten and are currently eight points from the play-offs .

After the win, we took a look back at the clash from an analytical perspective to pick out the ups and downs from a Wanderers perspective.

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Coming from behind again

Earlier this season, when Wanderers went behind in games, it was often curtains for their hopes in encounters to try and get something out of games.

But that now appears to be a thing of the past if the evidence of recent weeks is anything to go by.

Bolton came from behind in difficult circumstances to pick up a point against Morecambe last weekend and at the Kassam Stadium, they overcame deficits twice in the course of the afternoon to get themselves back on level terms.

That proved to be crucial and meant they were able to take advantage of the key moment when it came before full-time and clinch what could be a vital three points at the end of the season.

Wing-backs show real threat

The switch of formation has meant the use of wing-backs once more by Wanderers, with Fossey and John fulfilling the roles.

And the duo have been able to show their worth in the positions, particularly in the final third with both operating as effectively wingers for Ian Evatt’s side.

Fossey has been a revalation since arriving on loan in January from Fulham and it is understandable why Wanderers have an eye on keeping him at the club beyond the summer.

And John too has shown what he can do in the role in the attacking sense with now two goals over the past few weeks.

Bakayoko beats hero again

Bakayoko has had a frustrating season since joining Bolton over the summer with his game time being limited due to injury problems.

But a full fit Bakayoko is well and truly back and part of a vibrant and exciting center forward department at Wanderers.

In four games so far in a busy February, Bakayoko has shown his worth with three goals in four games this month, which have both come from starting matches and also coming off the bench in encounters.

And against the U’s, his pace and power proved to be key in the victory, none moreso than his late goal which secured the three points.

Gap to play-offs now in single figures

Evatt has played down the gap that Wanderers now have to the League One play-offs, with some fans understandably thinking that history is in the process of repeating itself a year on from a remarkable unbeaten run which saw Bolton secure automatic promotion out of League Two .

But a gap which was 11 points now stands at eight to sixth place, which is currently occupied by Plymouth Argyle.

The old cliche of ‘taking it one game at a time’ is certainly appropriate, but with the games coming thick and fast for Bolton at present and the impact wins can have, it will be interesting to see what the gap is should Wanderers pick up wins over Burton Albion on Tuesday and next Saturday versus AFC Wimbledon.

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New midfield work in progress in big away encounters

If there is one potential downside from the win over the U’s, it is perhaps an area of ​​the Wanderers team which is normally front and center was perhaps not at its best.

The midfield of MJ Williams, Aaron Morley and Kieran Lee was quickly broken up after the latter came off injured early in the first half and was replaced by Kyle Dempsey.

At times, the engine room was bypassed as Wanderers went long or looked off the pace compared to the U’s, with Morley and Dempsey still in the infancy stages of their Bolton careers.

It is an area which needs time to develop and grow, particularly with big games coming up on the horizon.




www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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