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Interview with an Away Fan: Bolton Wanderers

Through It All Together speaks to fellow SB Nation blog Lion of Vienna Suite.

Chris Brunskill - Getty Images

An away game at Bolton Wanderers takes me back to that horrible day, when the mighty Whites were relegated. However times have changed and a trip to the Reebok is a game I'm sure every Leeds fan is looking forward to. As usual we're taking plenty of fans and the atmosphere promises to be a good one. We know all about Leeds and our fantastic form of late, but what about Bolton?

I caught up with Bolton blogger Mark Yesilevskiy, from fellow SB Nation blog Lion of Vienna Suite. I answered some of his questions so if you want to head to the Bolton blog to see what I had to say then feel free.

We're confident ahead of the game and as you're about to find out so is Mark about Bolton's chances. Hope you enjoy reading and join us later for match coverage for tonight's Championship clash with Bolton Wanderers.

18th in the Championship at the moment, did you expect life to be this hard after your exit from the Premier League?

We expected some settling pains for sure and we were told from day one to not take the Championship for granted. We knew it would be a rough-and-tumble experience but we did not think we'd struggle this much. Bolton once again are not scoring goals and the defence is allowing soft goals.

Linking to that previous question, what were your expectations for the season?

After things settled down and the players got used to the division, we expected to be right near the top and battling for promotion. We expected Chung-Yong Lee to make an immediate impact on his return and Marvin Sordell to show us exactly why Bolton bought him. We expected it to be easier, I guess.

I've heard a few boos when I've seen you play this season. Do the fans want a change at the top or do they still believe Coyle can take them back up?

It's getting more and more difficult to believe he can. The vast majority of fans (and more join the bandwagon after every game) want him gone but don't have a good option to replace him in mind. For some reason, people seem to think that getting a manager like Harry Redknapp in is 1) realistic and 2) viable. Neither of which is true. We want nothing more than Owen to succeed with Bolton but at what point do we cross that line?

You've won two and lost two in your past four games. What is the reason for your patchy form of late?

Simply put, it's misfiring strikers. David Ngog either can't hit the side of a barn or fires it right at the goalkeeper. Kevin Davies has been playing well but is often found out by the opposition defence. Chris Eagles has been on a screaming run of form lately but we can't rely on him. The last three goals that Bolton have conceded have all been penalties with some being a lot softer than others. Bolton came back and beat Sheffield Wednesday after their penalty put the game at 1-1 but couldn't level it when penalties put both Birmingham City and Crystal Palace a goal up.

Who do we need to watch out for on Saturday?

If Chris Eagles continues the form he's had apart from the Crystal Palace game, he's the man to be careful of. Eagles has been involved in just about every single Bolton goal and is the leading scorer. He's become pretty dangerous from set pieces, hitting a couple of beauties so far this season.

What system do you think Bolton will employ for the game?

I can't see Owen drifting too far away from his 4-4-2 with Mark Davies on the right and Chris Eagles on the left. It's a hit-and-miss system that ultimately depends on which version of those midfielders shows up. We're not too sure if he'll start with David Ngog and Kevin Davies again but I wouldn't be shocked if one of them was rested and made way for Marvin Sordell, who hasn't had game time in a while.

Leeds fans are looking forward to the game on Tuesday, what can they expect from the home crowd?

Expect them to get behind the team should things start going Bolton's way but if the Trotters come and put out a poor performance, expect the noise to shift to booing quickly.

El-Hadji Diouf now wears the white of Leeds but what do Bolton fans think of him from his time there?

The fans still have a soft spot for Dioufy. He never scored a lot of goals at Bolton but the man worked. His steel and physicality exemplified the Allardyce era. He'll be clapped in on the day.

What dangers and weaknesses do you see from Leeds?

At this point, I see dangers in every team we face. A lot of that comes from just not being used to this division and not being familiar with the teams. There's a lot more parity than there is in the Premier League. We're worried about Diouf continuing his form from the weekend and we're worried about Becchio too.

What about Bolton's dangers and weaknesses?

Weaknesses: finishing, defending, linking play from the back, crossing. Really, just about everything is a weakness at the moment. The performances seem to be getting better little by little but every time we take a step forward, it becomes a step-and-a-half back. Bolton are still strong from set pieces and should Phil Dowd be lenient on the forwards, Bolton can use some muscle to beat the defence.

Any Leeds player you'd like to have at the Reebok?

Becchio in a heartbeat. We haven't had a forward that can score goals in just about forever.

Prediction for the match?

I'll be optimistic and go with 3-1. Hopefully the forwards hit the target for once. This defence very rarely keeps a clean sheet (something like two in the last 50 matches) so I expect us to concede at least once.