Bolton Wanderers manager Keith Hill says the club may be forced to enter the emergency loan in search of a goalkeeper, after an injury suffered by Remi Matthews in their goalless draw at Wimbledon at the weekend.
Matthews is set to be assessed on Monday after suffering an ankle injury at Kingsmeadow at the weekend, which could now keep him out of his side’s trip to the Pirelli Stadium to face Burton Albion on Tuesday night.
With Wanderers having elected not to replace fellow ‘keeper Ben Alnwick following his release by the club in December, the Trotters could find themselves without a senior option between the posts for that midweek encounter, something Hill admits could force him into the emergency loan market.
Speaking to the Bolton News after that stalemate with the Dons about how he could deal with Matthews’ possible absence, the Wanderers boss said: “Potentially we could take an emergency loan goalkeeper in. That is an option for us.”
The other option open to Bolton in goal at the minute is 17-year-old Matt Alexander, whose sole league appearance so far in his career came in a goalless draw with Coventry back in August, and it seems the teenager does have the backing of Hill, should he need to be called upon.
Discussing the possibility of using Alexander in the possible absence of Matthews, Hill continued: “But I have no fear of playing Matty Alexander. He is an excellent young goalkeeper and I’d be more than willing to play him if needs be.
“I support him and I am sure he would support me with his performance. I trust these young players and I don’t have a problem playing them when the time is right.”
Bolton go into that clash with Burton still rooted to the foot of the League One table, 22 points adrift of safety with 11 games of their season remaining.
This is an interesting one.
On the one hand, it could be a huge confidence boost for Alexander if Hill was to give the goalkeeper his chance against Burton, something he may feel he deserves following that well-earned clean sheet against Coventry earlier in this season.
However, if that then backfires and Alexander ends up on the wrong end of a heavy defeat, it is something that could risk knocking that confidence the ‘keeper has, which may not be particularly helpful for him so early in his career.
Even so, getting a ‘keeper in in time for tomorrow night’s trip to Burton may not be easy – even if it does seem sensible for Bolton – meaning this is a decision that could yet be taken out of Hill’s hands if the club do not move quickly enough.