Darren Pratley tells Bolton Wanderers fans: 'We'll get it right'
DARREN Pratley sent a message of defiance to fans after Wanderers’ dire start to the season.
Dougie Freedman’s side have yet to win in five league games – the Whites’ worst start to a campaign for 29 years at any level.
Saturday’s 4-1 defeat at Blackburn Rovers saw them slip to the bottom of the Championship table but Pratley spoke up for the dressing and asked supporters not to lose hope.
“The boys talk and we’re upset with how we have started,” he said. “We’re not just here to pick up wages.
“We do work hard every day but things are not coming off for us at the moment.
“I can only speak for myself but when I put on a Bolton shirt I am proud.
“We are not going hide or shy away from getting on the ball or things like that. We are going to try and put it right like we did last season. The sooner we do that the better.”
The first step will be the visit of Leeds United a week on Saturday where all eyes will be on Dougie Freedman’s team sheet.
The manager is in the market for loan additions and his words after the Ewood Park defeat hinted that his patience with some players’ underperformance had expired.
Pratley refused to be drawn on whether he felt new faces were needed in the squad but reckons the players who want to be involved in nine days’ time must produce a reaction.
“If we are winning the first five games then we have got the best squad in the world but when things are not going well people tend to point out that this or that could have happened,” he said.
“We need to stick together.
“I don’t know if the manager wants players or if he thinks the squad is too small. That is for him and the board to decide.
“Whether we had 10 players out on the pitch or 10 on the bench, it has been disappointing for us but we have 41 games left and we need to put it right.”
Wanderers have already fallen 11 points behind the top two, leading Freedman to write off the club’s chances of catching the leaders even at this early stage of the campaign.
And Pratley admits unless the team turn around their fortunes soon then their pre-season billing as one of the promotion favourites will look well wide of the mark.
“All the lads, including myself, looked at how we finished last season and you expect to be up there from the start,” he said.
“To be fair, I’m fed up of telling the Reading story and where they were at Christmas. Anyone can make that excuse if they are not doing well.
“We want to pick up points and try to get amongst it.
“That Reading thing was done once and it probably won’t be done again.”