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Bolton Wanderers: Hitting stride at the right time for promotion?

Are Bolton Wanderers the Championship's most in-form team?

I am not afraid to admit it; at the beginning of 2013 I had all but written off Bolton's promotion chances; in fact they were barely a consideration in the mix to bounce straight back up.

The team at the Reebok had the air of transition about them, having sacked media favourite Owen Coyle after a disastrous two-year run of form; replacing him.

HITC's own Simon Bunn made the assertion that the appointment of Dougie Freedman was a disastrous one, for both manager - who had turned his back on automatic promotion chasers Crystal Palace, for a place in the bottom half of the table - while for Bolton his relative inexperience could have backfired.

And at first it was a slow start, but in recent weeks, Freedman has seen his Bolton side come into some real form, winning eight of their last 10 games.

Their run has eclipsed big spending Leicester, who have by contrast won just one of their last 10 matches.

Wanderers lie in sixth place at present, occupying a play-off spot, level on points but with a better goal difference than Nottingham Forest.

Their fortunes are at odds with the club Freedman left, Crystal Palace, who are winless in five games and almost certain to miss out on an automatic promotion spot.

Indeed Ian Holloway's side are just three points above Bolton, in fourth, although the Eagles do have a game in hand.

Nevertheless, no team is more in form at the moment than Freedman's side; and that is something which counts for everything come play-off time.

So often do a team who put together a late run and squeeze into the play-offs in sixth, have the momentum which a club who have been battling for an automatic spot all season and miss out, do not.

There will be confidence and an upbeat atmosphere around the Reebok if Bolton can hold out over their final four matches to finish in the top six; and come play-off time that could just be their most important asset of all.

Do you expect Bolton to now go on and complete the job?

image: © Matthew Wilkinson

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