Bolton forward Chris O’Grady looks set to miss the next few weeks of action after being sidelined with an Achilles injury.
The experienced striker had been a regular in the Bolton side that have struggled since his arrival at the club back in September. The target man picked up a knock during the build-up to last weekend’s clash with Accrington Stanley at the University of Bolton Stadium.
O’Grady was not part of the matchday squad on the weekend with fears that he could be set to miss the games with AFC Wimbledon and Burton Albion while the injury settles down – two games that the Bolton supporters will feel that their club could pick up points in as well as see positive performances.
However, it has been a campaign to forget for Wanderers, who sit bottom of Sky Bet League One on just 12 points, but had to overcome a 12-point deduction due to off field matters at the beginning of the campaign.
His start to life in a Bolton shirt cannot be described as prolific, with the striker scoring just twice in 20 appearances for the Trotters – his goals coming against fellow North-West sides Tranmere Rovers and Fleetwood Town.
Destined for a campaign in Sky Bet League Two, which could be mathematically confirmed by the end of the month, O’Grady spoke about life with the Trotters to The Bolton News: “I suppose it’s the same all round for the players, staff and fans. It has been difficult, but we keep fighting – that’s what it is all about.
“It is about doing yourself proud, showing some pride, and seeing what results we can put together between now and the end of the season.
“I have appreciated the chance to come to the club and I have given my all. Like a lot of the players, it hasn’t quite paid off as well as we’d have liked, but we keep going with it.
“I think it is vitally important going into next season because it will have a knock-on effect. If we finish well then you can take that momentum into next season, which is going to be important.
“I suppose between now and the end it is about seeing what works in terms of personnel and formations.”
Hill’s side have put in a number of brave performances despite the circumstances that surround the club but look set to be a different animal altogether at they ply their trade in the fourth division for the first time since the 1987/1988 season, where they clinched promotion by coming third.
O’Grady will certainly be a miss for Bolton in the coming weeks. He is an experienced professional at this level which is no doubt one of the reasons why he was brought into the football club, with Bolton exposing a lot of youth into their first team this season it is crucial for them to lean on O’Grady as they look to progress as a team heading into a new division next year.
AFC Wimbledon are a side that O’Grady would’ve got a lot of joy against playing as a wide target man; before the start of the season the Bolton fans will have been looking to games against the Dons as a must win game if they had any chance to climb out of trouble and survive in Sky Bet League One.
In terms of what O’Grady has said about next season, Hill can use these last few games to decide on what players he will want to keep around for next season as well as tactics and bleeding in yet more talented youngsters.