FA CUP fever is slowly spreading – and Wanderers are expecting a healthier crowd at the Reebok for Saturday’s fourth-round clash with Everton.
After a disappointing 12,204 people watched the previous round home clash against Sunderland, the club are expecting a big increase in the gate when they face Everton in the competition for the first time since their famous 3-2 extra time victory at Goodison Park in 1994.
Early estimates are for an attendance of around 16,500 for this weekend’s game, with the Toffees reporting they have sold out their entire away allocation of around 5,000 and will be bringing a large contingent of additional corporate guests.
Everton skipper Phil Neville has predicted an occasion to savour, although he believes his side must improve on their display at Southampton on Monday night.
“It’s a cup game, so we put the league to one side. And it will be a tremendous atmosphere at the Reebok on Saturday,” he said.
“There will be a lot of fans there and we’ve got to produce a big performance. It is a big week for us.
“Bolton are a Premier League side with a Premier League stadium, even though they’re playing in the Championship, and we’ll need to show better form and better concentration than we did against Southampton.
“I’m sure we’ll be okay and we’ll be backed by a lot of fans, so that will spur us on as well.”
Wanderers have priced tickets at £20 for adults, and £5 for under-21s, and though the pricing policy has been questioned by some supporters, the pick-up appears to be a positive one with fans hoping to witness another Premier League scalp.
In the 15 home games so far this season, the Sunderland gate has been by far the club’s lowest, nearly 5,000 down on the average of 17,268.