AFTER the international break, it was back to League One business with our third meeting with Rochdale in less than three months.

The big news was the return of our FanZone, which appeared to be a resounding success with more than 1,000 crowding into the Premier Suite for pre-match entertainment in comfortable surroundings. Well done to the Supporters' Trust for bringing this back and hopefully it will be held more regularly in the New Year.

On the negative side, lots of fans who arrived late at the ground struggled to get their match or season tickets accepted at the turnstiles, causing lengthy queues and late admittance for both sets of fans.

There was a FanZone lager on offer at £3 a pint to lubricate the discussions, although it wasn’t to my taste.

Most fans were pleased to see that Phil Parkinson and Steve Parkin had got the Sunderland job and we wish them well, except on Boxing Day, of course.

As for Bolton’s fortunes, there was real hope we might get our first win. Performances have been improving and results getting better with draws in our last three home league games.

The big concern was the injury list where the treatment room must resemble something of a casualty station as we seem to be losing players faster than we are getting them back.

Jack Hobbs joined that list this week, which gave an opportunity to Adam Senior.

It was a typical hard-fought local derby match in the first half, but we got the breakthrough in the second half after some good work by Joe Dodoo in setting up Thibaud Verlinden.

Aaron Wilbraham came on to a great reception from the Bolton fans and it changed the match as an inspired Rochdale took advantage of a shaky defence and ran out easy winners in the end.

Without taking anything away from Rochdale, this was a disappointing result and performance.

We are rebuilding the club and the squad from scratch. It was always going to be a difficult challenge, even without the horrendous injury list.

There’s no point in looking ahead and thinking we’ve got a difficult run of matches coming up because we are where we are. All matches are going to be difficult in our position.

We have got to look for steady progress off the pitch to ensure our future and then on the pitch to restore our fortunes.