Let’s start with the positives.
The Red Lion at Woodcote served a decent home-cooked lunch, accompanied by draught Old Speckled Hen. Reading put up posters welcoming Bolton fans to the superb Madjeksi stadium and their bar staff wore ‘Burden Way’ T-shirts (pictured below).
Their TVs showed great Bolton goals from happier times from the likes of Okocha, Djorkaeff, Nolan, Super Kev and Ivan Campo.
We were on a nostalgic high until we kicked off. What followed was the poorest, most gutless and pathetic performance it has ever been my misfortune to endure in over 50 years of watching the Wanderers.
We were hammered by a distinctly average-looking Championship side in Reading. Being charitable, the penalty looked harsh but by that time, most of us had lost the will to live, never mind argue with the referee.
It would be unfair to single out any individuals as they were all as bad as one another. The management and players should hang their heads in collective shame and if they have any decency, they should consider whether they should draw their wages this week.
Once again, the fans who made the 400-mile round trip deserve enormous credit, especially for singing “I’m Bolton ‘til I die” at 7-0 down, which the Reading fans sympathetically applauded. The same spirit and commitment from the team wouldn’t go amiss right now.
This was frighteningly poor. This was embarrassing. There can be no excuses. The board, management, players and fans need to stick together and battle through this bad period.
Sleeves need to be rolled up to restore the pride in wearing the Wanderers’ shirt and ensure our survival and eventual recovery. Times are tough at the moment but that is when the tough get going.