Bolton Wanderers plan to sign off against Birmingham City with a 'lap of thanks' to salute their supporters

Dougie Freedman to salute Wanderers fans

Dougie Freedman to salute Wanderers fans

First published in Sport The Bolton News: Photograph of the Author by , chief football writer

WANDERERS have put plans in place for players to do a “lap of thanks” for supporters after Saturday’s home finale against Birmingham City.

Dougie Freedman and the team are expected to do the customary parade on the pitch to acknowledge the home support they have received at the Reebok this season.

Club sources have voiced concerns, however, that misbehaviour – in particular pitch invasions – could force them to shelve the end-of-season farewell.

It is understood Birmingham City have all-but sold out their allocation of 3,700 tickets for the away end, for a game they cannot afford to lose.

Lee Clark’s side have to better Doncaster Rovers’ result at champions Leicester to stay up – although Millwall and Blackpool could also come into play if they fail to take anything from their home games against Bournemouth and Charlton, respectively.

With such a lot at stake at the bottom of the table it was viewed as a surprise to some that the game – the last to be played under the “Reebok” banner – was not selected for television coverage.

Birmingham have not been out of the top two tiers for 20 years, but by a cruel twist of fate – it was their failure to beat Wanderers in the penultimate game of the season in 1994 that eventually saw Barry Fry’s Blues topple into the old Division Two.

Clark’s side have lost their last five games and 10 of the last 13 but the former Newcastle United midfielder refuses to give up hope of staying up on the final day.

“First and foremost we have to get the result ourselves and then hope that others go our way,” he said.

“It is not in our own hands now, which is obviously not what we wanted.

“But there is still that belief in the dressing room. Our away form is very good.

“But I’ve said many times, don’t talk the talk, walk the walk and deliver, that’s what I’d be looking for.

“We have just got to keep fighting for the fans and try and get the right scenario for ourselves.”

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