Doncaster Rovers boss Richie Wellens talks 'Premier League' Bolton Wanderers
Doncaster Rovers boss Richie Wellens described tonight’s opponents Bolton Wanderers as a club that should be in the Premier League.
But he has backed Rovers to exploit an openness in the Trotters as they look to pick up their first league away win this season.
Rovers have picked up just one point in nine matches on their travels this term and a victory on the road has proved to be elusive.
Having made a good start to life back in League One following promotion from the fourth tier, Bolton have won just one of their last seven matches in the league.
“They’ve picked up injuries so it might have had an impact on them,” Wellens said.
“They’re a huge club at League One level and their budget is a hell of a lot bigger than ours. It’s a budget that can be really competitive in our division.
“I know a couple of their players on a personal level so I know the kind of money they are paying out.
“Their ambitions should be right at the top end of the division.
“They’ve had a bad run of late.
“I went to both of the Stockport games in the cup and the Crewe game at Bolton.
“They’re a really good team going forward. I think they’re open but they’ve got some really good attacking players.”
Bolton boss Ian Evatt said he is down to 14 senior players for tonight’s game as the club endure an injury crisis similar to that which Rovers have suffered this term.
Former Rovers defender Alex Baptiste has suffered an ankle injury while MJ Williams dislocated his shoulder at the weekend.
Wellens praised Evatt for the job he has done since arriving at the University of Bolton Stadium.
“I was in League Two last year with Ian,” he said.
“I don’t think he did all the recruitment himself in the summer but he got seven or eight players in during January which was fundamental in getting them promoted. He had a big say in that recruitment in January.
“When you’ve got in Lloyd Isgrove, MJ Williams, Kieran Lee and four or five others, it makes a huge difference. Kieran Lee played 28 games for Sheffield Wednesday the season before in the Championship.
“They’re trying to kick on.
“It’s a club that should be in the Premier League or around there. They’ve proven they can do it in the past. It’s a really big club.”
Wellens is looking to end Rovers’ winless run away from home and believes his side are heading in the right direction.
“We’re trying to concentrate on ourselves and what we can do,” he said.
“It’s one defeat in seven for us now and it’s important we just continue that bit of momentum we’ve got.
“It’s just about performance levels for us. Our work ethic was outstanding on Saturday and if we can keep doing that and add a bit more quality as we go, get players back fit, then it’ll all stand us in good stead.
“It’s been difficult. We’d go to away grounds earlier in the season and people would think the bottom of the league is coming and they expect to win.
“Now they look at us and think we’re becoming harder to beat.
“It’s a positive for us.”