Adam Bogdan believes good times will return to the Reebok next season
BOLTON keeper Adam Bogdan has promised that next year the Trotters will be more than halfseason wonders.
Highly fancied in August, Bolton failed to win any of their first 11 games, briefly sinking to the foot of the Championship before a post-Christmas revival saw them finish 14th.
And it was a case of déjà vu all over again for Reebok regulars, who saw their side do exactly the same thing last season.
The stats speak for themselves; if you take the final 23 games of 2012-13 and 2013-14, Bolton would have had 73 points – enough to claim the final play-off berth in each of those seasons.
Instead, they are facing a third straight season in the second tier with Bogdan determined to avoid another sluggish start.
“Last year was bad. This year was worse. Next season, our start has to be better,” said the 26-year-old Hungarian.
“We didn’t pick up any wins for a long, long while and when that happens it does become about confidence.
“We had loads of draws, which doesn’t really take you anywhere in the league. We had narrow defeats. Overall, there wasn’t too much wrong with the way we played. But we couldn’t score, we’d miss an open goal or a penalty.
“In a tight league where the margins are so narrow, you have to be spot on and totally confident in the way you play. In the beginning of the season, it wasn’t like that. But suddenly you win, then you win again and again and it all changes.
“The problem is that we started too late. But you can’t do anything about it now.You can’t dwell on it.
“All you can do is keep trying to put it right and, in the end, it looks like we got the components together. We were winning games, not losing many. It meant we were able to finish – I don’t want to say on a high – but at least with a better taste in our mouths.
“Unfortunately, we ran out of time but we need to take that confidence into next season and make sure we give ourselves a shot at the play-offs.”
Relegated from the Premier League after 12 years in 2012, the Trotters have parachute payments and plenty of players with top-flight experience.
With those advantages come high expectations, but Bogdan says pressure is no excuse for failing to launch a promotion bid.
“Yes expectations are high,” he added. “Even more so in the first season because people always want to beat the Premier Legaue team.
“Of course, when people come to the Reebok they still want to raise their game. But I don’t think we can blame anything on that. It’s about us – what can we change and do better?
“We’ve had to deal with our problems but it’s time for some positive thinking at the club again.”
And Bogdan, the club’s player for the year in 2012, has an extra incentive for reaching the top flight – adding to his 18 caps for Hungary.
“The national team is always changing,” added Bogdan, who has made 94 appearances for the Trotters since joining in 2007.
“And the way we change our managers, there’s no such thing as first choice. It’s just whoever he fancies at that point. But over the last few years I have been the regular keeper. It’s a great honour. Hungary used to be a very famous country for football. In my time, growing up, not so much. We didn’t really have much to cheer for.
“But every qualifying campaign you always think ‘Yeah, we’re going to get to the World Cup or the Euros’. We’ve come close a couple of times now and I would love to be there when we finally make it back.”
BRAVE: Bolton’s Adam Bogdan saves from Charlton’s Reza Ghoochannejhad