The fact that Bolton currently sit bottom of the Championship standings is not a major concern to their plans to return to the Premier League, even if they are already 11 points adrift of the automatic promotion places.
After all, Sunderland won the division in the 2006/07 season despite being second-bottom after five games, while Reading had only four points at the same stage in 2011/12 before ending up champions.
Bolton remain fairly prominent in the Championship promotion betting at 9/2, but unless they recruit a defender in the emergency loan window, their chances have to look slim.
And not only is it any centre back that Dougie Freedman should be targeting, specifically bringing back Craig Dawson from West Brom would seem a particularly inspiring move.
Dawson looks fourth choice in the West Brom central defensive ranks behind Gareth McAuley, Jonas Olsson and summer signing Diego Lugano and his only appearance so far has been in the Capital One Cup win over Newport.
However, the impact that he had at Bolton when on loan in the latter portion of the last campaign cannot be overstated.
In Dawson’s 16 appearances for Bolton, the club won 10 times and drew another three, climbing from 20th in the Championship standings to finish a place outside of the play-offs in the process.
Without him, Bolton are yet to win a game in the whole of 2013 and the current central defensive pairing of Zat Knight and David Wheater have looked substantially error-prone, while Matt Mills and Tim Ream are arguably not much better.
Bolton are one of three teams to have already reached double figures for goals conceded and bringing in another defender must be a priority, especially if one of the club’s ample central midfield options or strikers can also be sent out on loan.
If not, there are worse 20/1 shots in existence than that of Bolton being relegated for the second time in three seasons.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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