Alex Baptiste says Bolton Wanderers must be ready to scrap
WANDERERS may have to show a little more bottle if they are going to climb out of, reputedly, one of the most difficult leagues in the world, according to full-back Alex Baptiste.
To his credit, the 27-year-old former Blackpool man was the only player to emerge from the Wanderers dressing room at the City Ground in a talkative frame of mind following a comprehensive 3-0 defeat at the hands of now Championship leaders Nottingham Forest.
Strangely, defender Baptiste squandered possibly the best chance for a man in a Wanderers shirt to get on the scoresheet when his team were just 1-0 down, but, with the goal at his mercy, he allowed host goalkeeper Karl Darlow to get in a block.
But that did not prevent him giving an honest assessment of a game which he was the first to admit represented a “bad day at the office”.
This was after Jamie Mackie’s second-minute opener, Andy Reid’s second four minutes after the restart, Darren Pratley’s unnecessary sending off and Henri Lansbury’s killer diving header for Forest’s third had made it a thoroughly miserable afternoon for Dougie Freedman’s men.
“We conceded so early, it wasn’t good enough and, although we had a few chances in the first half, once we were 2-0 down and we were down to 10 men, the rest of the match was irrelevant,” he said.
“Once they went a goal up, with the crowd they have behind them here, they were buzzing. But we played well in the first half, but the second goal and Prats’ sending off killed us.”
Baptiste, however, is refusing to concede the first defeat of the season has put Wanderers under undue pressure ahead of their outing at home to highly-fancied QPR.
“I had a chance which I should’ve done better with,” Baptiste continued. “But we are not blaming anyone. We’ll take it on the chin and get ready for QPR.”
Baptiste also admitted that the indifferent start to the season by Wanderers was proof that the Championship campaign was never going to be easy.
“To get to the Premier League you’ve got to go through days like these,” he said. “It’s never going to be all plain sailing. You’ve got to look at each other and say ‘are you ready for a scrap’ because that’s what the Championship is.
“We will learn from this and go again on Monday. It’s silly to talk about pressure when we’re only three games in. We all know that this performance was not good enough and that we have to start better.”