Dion Charles outlines Bolton Wanderers next season expectation & strong League One message

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Dion Charles says Bolton Wanderers have their sights set high for next season in League One as they know what they have to do to get there and vowed the Whites will be one of the big teams expected to do well.

Wanderers finished ninth in the third tier of English football this campaign with a total of 73 points, a fine achievement for a newly promoted side.

A total of 73 points would in most seasons be enough to have the Whites in and around the top six, but the high standards in League One this campaign meant that Bolton were 10 points behind sixth placed Wycombe Wanderers.

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Charles joined Wanderers at the start of the January transfer window from Accrington Stanley and became the first player Wanderers had paid a transfer fee for since 2018 in the process.

He scored eight goals for his new club between joining and the end of April, as Wanderers secured a ninth place finish and have put foundations in place for a promotion charge in earnest next season.

Charles admits there is some disappointment Wanderers were not in the play-offs fight this season as they would have been in previous campaigns, but believes the squad knows what is needed to get to that level.

Teams confirmed to be in League One next season alongside Wanderers include the likes of Derby County, Ipswich Town, Portsmouth and Charlton Athletic, as well as three out of MK Dons, Sheffield Wednesday, Sunderland and Wycombe Wanderers as the big teams in the third tier of English football continue.

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But Charles says Wanderers are one of those big sides too with an expectation upon them as the need to win next season drives him on.

He said: “We know what we need to do next season. We were talking in there, we’ve set our goals and we’ll do everything we can to fulfill our goals.

“I think it’s the highest points to get into the play-offs and the lowest to stay up so that just shows the gulf in the league this year, that the top teams are up there and the bottom ones are struggling, so we know what we need to do.

“We’ll have summer and we’ll come back full of energy and kick on.

“We’re one of them big clubs as well. There’s an expectation at this club and if you can’t deal with that then you’re in the wrong sport. As a club, we should be winning games, we need to win games, so it’s something that I thrive on. I’m a winner and I want to win.”

Charles forms part of a competitive forward line at Wanderers which also includes fellow January signing Jon Dadi Bodvarsson, Amadou Bakayoko and Dapo Afolayan.

His game involves tireless workrate upfront to help his side pick up three points on a matchday and is looking forward to pre-season after having his bedding in period at the club following his January switch from Accrington.

And he believes the Wanderers faithful will have a key role to play next season at home in particular and make the University of Bolton Stadium an intimidating place to visit for sides in the 2022/23 campaign.

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He said: “I’ve had a good partnership with all the strikers at the club. We’ve got great firepower up at the top end of the pitch, so whoever the gaffer selects, everyone is confident that we will score goals and when you’re called upon, you’ve got to perform.

“I can’t thank the gaffer enough for putting his trust in me and hopefully I’m repaying him.

“It helps all the boys. It makes us get up the pitch and I’m a team player so I’ll do everything I can while I’m playing for the boys out there, as they will for me. We’ve got a really good group. Everyone just wants to win for each other and we’ll do whatever we can.

“My job is to score goals, run around and that’s the minimum that I’ll give while I’m here at this club. I’ll work my hardest.

“I’ve had my bedding in period now. It’s going to be good to get a full pre-season in me and we can work on things because our schedule has been really tough with Saturday-Tuesdays, so we haven’t had that many training sessions to get across how the gaffer wants to play for me personally, so it’s going to be good in pre-season.

“It’s time now to rest up and get ourselves, our bodies and minds prepared for next season.

“I’ve said it a few times, the fans are unbelievable here. They can be our extra man. Some teams when they come here, it can be very daunting for them so we just need to use them to our advantage.”

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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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