By Nic Barnes
Bolton boss Phil Parkinson was named League 1 manager of the month and young striker Zach Clough player of the month for October following a five-game unbeaten run.
They lost this weekend to Petererborough but their season is a far cry from the form that saw the club relegated from the Championship last season after finishing bottom of the league without an away win for 495 days.
#Bolton's search for an away win continues….26 away games now dating back to last win in April 2015. #bwfc #BlackpoolFC #Seasiders #EFLCup
— Goodbrand Stats (@StatsChristian) August 9, 2016
In November 2015, just hours before a crucial televised game against Brentford, it was reported that Bolton had failed to pay players wages, which Daily Mail reporter Neil Ashton said sent Bolton into “meltdown just hours before the game”.
Money issues were a recurring theme throughout the season and saw the club on the brink of administration after being issued a winding up order by HMRC. Thankfully the club was bought just 30 minutes before a third court date by ex-Bolton striker Dean Holdsworth and the £2.2M tax bill was paid.
Following the purchase of the club, Bolton fortunes have changed this season and many of the fans put this down to the money the new owners Ken Anderson and Dean Holdsworth have made available for transfers and savviness in the market.
Appointing Phil Parkinson proved a hit with Bolton fans early on. Matt Wood, a blogger on the Lion Of Vienna Suite site wrote: “The in depth knowledge of League 1 was very important to me in this search. Parkinson has been in and around this league for years. He knows what it takes to get out and he knows what kind of players it would suit.”
Parkinson is the first manager since Sam Allardyce to win two monthly managerial awards in the same season for Bolton. George Burley, who chairs the Sky Bet manager of the month judging panel, believes he has “given the team and the fans a new belief” after a torrid time last season.
The impressive form of Zach Clough, who managed 5 goals with 2 braces in the month of October, has won him the player of the month award. This is the second time a Bolton player has won a monthly award this season when Jay Spearing was awarded player of the month for August.