Bolton Wanderers defender Matt 'the Grinch' Mills puts Tykes before tinsel

The Bolton News: The Grinch The Grinch

MATT Mills might feel a bit more festive if Wanderers can find their cutting edge against Barnsley this afternoon.

The big defender was in no mood for turkey and tinsel after another frustrating stalemate against Charlton on Saturday.

But if things go well at Oakwell, where Wanderers come up against yet another newly-appointed manager in Danny Wilson, then Mills might allow himself to slip temporarily into the party spirit.

“I’m not interested in Christmas – there’s a job to be done on Boxing Day and that’s all I’m bothered about to be honest,” he said.

“I’m fully focussed on Barnsley because it’s a game I feel we can win. Our away form has been good and even though it’s another new manager’s first home game, which will be interesting, I think we can use the last two experiences at Middlesbrough and Wigan.”

Wanderers failed to spoil the party for Aitor Karanka at Boro or Uwe Rosler at Wigan and now face their third consecutive new boss in three away games.

“It’s something you need to take into consideration,” Mills said.

“It changes the way the crowd react and the way the players approach the game. I’m sure the manager will address it.”

Mills has also added his voice to those who would like to see Dougie Freedman sign up Kevin McNaughton and Neil Danns for a longer stay once the transfer window reopens.

The pair play their final game against Barnsley, meaning Freedman will be forced into a reshuffle for the game at Leicester on Sunday.

“Since they came in they have played pretty much every minute of every game,” he told The Bolton News.

“From my perspective, playing alongside Kevin, it’s been a pleasure. So, if we can sort out an extension for them it would be fantastic.

“When Kevin came in we needed that calming influence and experience in the back four.

“He gave us that and I’m pleased for him because I think he’s added something to his game since he has been here too.

“Him and Alex Baptiste have been playing a lot higher up the pitch and starting to get crosses into the box. And what about that goal on Saturday? That was a defender showing the strikers how to do it!”

Danns says he has been left in the dark by Leicester and does not know what his next move will be once he returns to the King Power Stadium.

Mills has sympathy, having been frozen out by the Foxes before his move to Wanderers the summer before last.

“I have played with Dannsy at Leicester and I know what he brings with his energy, quality and never-say-die attitude. Hopefully something can be resolved,” he said.

“I know he will want to be playing regular football. The ball is in Leicester’s court because he is their property.”


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