The Football League Paper - - FA CUP THIRD ROUND -

IF ANY Bolton fans wanted signs of their worth to make the re­turn to Eng­land’s sec­ond tier, then this bat­tling draw with Crys­tal Palace will give them hope.

More than a de­fen­sive per­for­mance, the Trot­ters play­ers with Premier League and Cham­pi­onship ex­pe­ri­ence stood out, and showed why pro­mo­tion has to be on the cards. In his early days at the Macron, Phil Parkin­son’s meth­ods were more ro­bust, but brought wins and points. Now they’re con­fi­dence is up, Bolton play some ex­cel­lent foot­ball.

They have some strength in depth off the bench, and a crowd that’s will­ing to sup­port them no mat­ter what – some­thing that’s been in short sup­ply in re­cent, dif­fi­cult years as they slipped down the leagues.

As for Palace, if they don’t start scor­ing goals, there’s a good chance they might be mak­ing the trip north again next year.

In the Premier League, that’s the dif­fer­ence be­tween rel­e­ga­tion and sur­vival.

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