LIAM Trotter lifted the lid on his problems settling down at Wanderers – but pledged: “Now you’ll see the best of me.”
It has been a rough ride for the midfielder since he swapped South London for the North West in January.
Targeted by the boo-boys early on in his Whites career, Trotter struggled to find his niche in Dougie Freedman’s side until the very end of last season.
The 25-year-old revealed how he initially struggled to settle up north and suffered a knee problem that forced him to undergo surgery this summer.
But now, the former Ipswich Town man is looking forward to a brighter future and hoping an impressive second-half performance against Bury in midweek could see him force his way into the side for tomorrow’s clash with Nottingham Forest.
“It was difficult last season,” he told The Bolton News. “The team wasn’t doing well and were in a transition period.
“I had the injury, which was causing a bit of trouble, and at first I was playing behind the striker, whereas I’m more of a central midfielder.
“It’s not a job I mind doing but towards the end of the season I played centre mid and the fans started to see the best of me.
“That’s where I hope to play this season.
“Within a day also I had to move myself and my whole family to kind of be isolated up here. But I am very settled now and enjoying myself.”
Trotter was missing for much of pre-season as he recovered from knee surgery that was not made public by the club.
He returned in midweek to play 120 minutes in the 3-2 win over the Shakers but would have no problem with fatigue if called upon at the Macron tomorrow.
“I got more minutes than I expected,” he said. “But I think I did okay. I’m fit and I’m in contention to start games in the league if the manager wants to pick me.
“I had a problem last season and I decided the best thing was to have keyhole surgery and find out what the problem was. I didn't want to come into this season still carrying an injury. But it has been cleared up now and I am fine.
“It was important we got a win in midweek, especially after Saturday and like last season when we only got our first win after 10 games. Personally, I am in full contention and I just hope manager gives me opportunity to prove myself.”
Wanderers surrendered two goals inside 24 minutes at Watford on the opening day and also went behind midway through the first half against Bury – something Trotter feels immediate attention.
“Our start cost us at Watford and it nearly cost us against Bury,” he said. “That's something as players we have to address.
“The manager and coaching staff have set us up to start games a lot better, so now it is down to the players.
“We will look to start fast against Forest and hopefully go into half-time leading the game rather than chasing it.”
Trotter may have had a rollercoaster ride in his seven months in the North West but the undoubted high was his sensational long-range strike against Sheffield Wednesday on the penultimate game of last season.
It earned Trotter a goal of the season award – and gave his mum another item to add to her collection of memorabilia.
“She’s got DVDs, photos, phone apps, all sorts,” he laughed. “That goal was her favourite thing in the world, she never misses an opportunity to show someone.
“You’ll definitely see more goals but I can’t promise they’ll all be like that.
“It’s definitely up there with the best I’ve ever scored.”