As Bolton Wanderers continued to adapt to life in the second tier of English football after their relegation from the Premier League, manager Dougie Freedman hoped the 13/14 season would be their year.
After a disappointing first season back in the Championship hopes were high that it would be a short stay.
But sadly it did not work out in the second season either as the Trotters crashed to a dreadful 14th place finish, leaving fans thinking they could be in for a long wait for top-flight football.
Freedman’s attention quickly turned to the summer, and to building a squad capable of winning promotion.
His first signing was a familiar face from the season just gone as well.
This is FLW Rewind where we take a look back at a big decision made by a club, analyse the initial reaction and document what happened next.
Millwall’s Liam Trotter had spent the second half of the previous season on loan with Bolton and clearly did enough to impress the coaching staff as he was handed a permanent contract when he was released in the summer.
— Bolton Wanderers FC (@OfficialBWFC) May 12, 2014
In that time he made 16 appearances, scoring just one goal.
But, unlike their manager, many fans were yet to be convinced by the midfielder after his spell on loan at their club.
They saw the signing as a show of the club’s complete lack of ambition and did not see the 30-year-old as a good acquisition whatsoever:
— Jim Neal (@jimmneal) May 12, 2014
@OfficialBWFC is this a joke?
— Emily (@emzvosper) May 12, 2014
@OfficialBWFC What a disappointment! Has scored 1 goal and ambled around in midfield adding very little! If this is the future quality?????
— Phil Ashcroft (@PhilAshBolton) May 13, 2014
And ultimately they were right.
Another ineffective season from Trotter followed where he played just 14 times, suffering with various injuries throughout the campaign and again finding the net just once.
22 appearances were made the following season as he doubled his previous goal tally for the season netting twice, but it was far from enough to convince the fans that he was good enough as the club were relegated from the Championship.
Maybe League One would be his level, though.
Well, it appeared not. Another season of little effect followed with just 20 appearances and although the club were promoted back to the second tier, it did little to help Trotter.
As his contract at the club ran out, so did his appeal and the midfielder was released and the sceptical fans were proven correct.
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