IT suddenly appears that fateful final day at The Britannia Stadium is a fading memory, writes John Leather .

With the return of pre season fixtures, and a general positivity being felt around the Reebok Stadium culminating in a reported rise in season ticket sales to this point for the following season and even a Team GB call up for Marvin Sordell.

Many may feel Bolton have managed to retain the majority of the stronger, younger end of the squad despite reports the wage bill has been slashed by nearly 50 per cent. Early acquisitions appear astute with championship experienced trio Keith Andrews, Matt Mills and Andy Lonergan.

Lee Chung Yong and Tyrone Mears are back and getting a full pre-season, whilst Stuart Holden is being cautiously penned in for an October return.

Academy graduates Josh Vela, Joe Riley, Michael ‘o’ Halloran and Tom Eaves seriously threatening the first team. Even Gregg Wylde is finally cleared to play. Few may argue Bolton look a good bet for promotion, not least many bookmakers, installing Bolton as early second favourites.

However, the thought remains, can Bolton do it? The statistics make quite startling reading. Since Premier League inception in 1992, 61 teams have been relegated, with instant promotion achieved only 16 times by 12 different teams. Based on this factor, the probability of promotion is 26 per cent, not overly encouraging possibly.

Before a doomy outlook is perceived, Bolton were one of those teams, following their releagtion in 1995-1996, resulting in an amazing 98 points and 100 goals, which if offered to Owen Coyle for this season he would surely jump at. Only Nottingham Forest, Leicester, West Brom and Birmingham have achieved the feat of twice bouncing back instantly in Premier League history.

Alternatively, our England manager Roy Hodgson, stated that stats are not the only important factor relating to the European championships, so maybe the statistics shouldn’t be taken too seriously.

One thing is for sure, anticipation is starting to build and the whole of Bolton is looking on with renewed hope, eager to put the bad memories of last season firmly in the past.