Kieran Sadlier says Bolton Wanderers are aiming to finish strong and see what happens with the eventual ambition of targeting the League One title next season.
Wanderers sit 11th in the third tier of English football and are 12 points from the play-offs now following the midweek draw against Portsmouth in which Sadlier scored the equalizer from the penalty spot.
It now appears that Bolton’s aspirations of reaching the Championship are now over for this season, with five games of their campaign left.
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Wanderers have drawn their last two games, away to Wigan Athletic and at home against Pompey, a team that tops the table in the form of the former and a side which also has the aim of reaching the play-offs.
Sadlier believes there are plenty of positives to take from the draw against the Latics and feels there is no reason why they cannot challenge at the top end of the division next campaign, pointing to their ability to grind out wins on the road too as happened against Crewe Alexandra before the international break.
And full focus for the meantime is now on this weekend’s clash against Sheffield Wednesday, a side which are in form and in the play-offs as things stand.
He said: “I think against Wigan, we came away thinking that apart from the poor first half, we could have won that game. They are top two in the league at the moment and there is no reason why, even if it is next season, we can’t go and win the league.
“We can compete against anyone in this league. A lot of teams play different ways and we can adapt to that. We have shown that we can dig in at places like Crewe and we can win in different ways, not just always passing.
“I think it is just adapting and using a little bit of experience. We can use that going into next season and in the next five games we’ve got, we want to win every game. We want to finish strong and see what happens .
“We want to see what we can do this season, we want to win every single game. We are a few points off it (the top six) now but never say never.
“But next season we have one target in mind and that is to get promoted and win the league. I think we have got everything to do that.
“I am looking forward to pre-season but first of all I want to concentrate on the next five games. We have got a big one at the weekend, another big team and another in-form team, and we want to try and win that game.”
Sadlier joined Wanderers from Rotherham United in the January transfer window and put pen to paper on a two-and-a-half year deal at the University of Bolton Stadium.
The attacker has frankly admitted his time at the Millers was ultimately the wrong move for him, but he is feeling settled at Bolton and is the first time in a while he has felt that way.
He has started the last three games at wing-back, perhaps not his best or favored position, but a role he feels he is far more suited to at Bolton compared to Rotherham with the different styles of play.
And he is happy to do a job on the pitch wherever Ian Evatt needs to use deploy him, believing as long as he is enjoying himself then he does not mind where he plays.
He said: “The styles of play are quite different, I think everybody knows that. We play out from the back here and take risks with the ball.
“Growing up, I have always liked to play that way so it suits me more. Playing wing-back here, people will say you are playing the same position but it is completely different.
“If you watch and play football you will know that even though you are playing the same position, it is a completely different style of play.
“You can see I am getting the ball a lot to my feet, I rarely get it around my head. I enjoy it, I just focus on my own football and my own career. As long as I enjoy it, I am not bothered .
“For the first time in a while I feel really settled, not just on the pitch but off the pitch as well – where I am living, the area and how people have welcomed me. It has been really good.
“Obviously, the crowd and seeing 12,000 season tickets sold for next season already – those little things do make a difference to players. It has been really good. I have enjoyed every minute and it will be nice to get a full pre-season under my belt at a club where I feel happy and settled.
“I think as I get older, the fact that I can play in different positions – midfield, wing, wing-back, I’ve played up front before as well – it is good to have. I am quite fit as well so it I just like being on the pitch, I will just fill in anywhere and try to do the best I can in that position.
“I am still building relationships with people, obviously I move around in the team a little bit. The lads are all great, we are quite a close group.
“It is always good that you can that because there are other places I have been where you don’t really build those relationships. It is enjoyable and I think it is important, especially going forward.”