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HUGHTON'S NOTES

Posted on 17 August 2006  - 12:00

Chris Hughton gives his regular assessment of our forthcoming opponents - next up, Bolton and the big kick-off on Saturday.

Chris Hughton gives his regular assessment of our forthcoming opponents - next up, Bolton and the big kick-off on Saturday.

IT IS ALWAYS a difficult game at Bolton. They had a very good record at the Reebok Stadium last season (11 wins, just three defeats in the league) and even though they might not have finished the season how they would have liked, they've had a fabulous record over the last couple of seasons. There won't be a side in the Premiership that won't know it's a tough place to go and get a result.

They have a system of play with a 4-3-3 formation that has stood them in good stead over the past couple of seasons alongside the introduction of quality players. We would expect them not to veer too much away from that. It can be a more direct style, which is what they've had in recent seasons with Davies up front, who has been a great target man for them.

But they are not just a direct side, they are also about the quality they have throughout the side - the likes of Campo, Stelios, Nolan who can break from midfield, Speed, Diouf, a wonderful player on the ball. In amongst the style, they are a good footballing side.

Meite is a central defender who arrived from Marseille in the summer although he hasn't played in all their pre-season friendlies. He did play in the last one against AZ Alkmaar and that's a game we'll look at. Of the new players they've got, obviously we know of their form before they went to Bolton, players like Quinton Fortune, but we won't yet know how they'll be used within the system. They've had a few young lads who have played in pre-season as well in Ellis, he's looked accomplished on the ball and in wide areas Smith and Wolfe.

They've had injury problems in pre-season but we can expect a tough opening game and they will be determined to start well at home.