Phil Brown on Bolton, the type of game he expects and fitness concerns...
Blues boss Phil Brown is expecting a battle on Tuesday night when Bolton visit Roots Hall.
Having just fought hard for three huge points on Saturday against Oldham, a win Brown described as a ‘statement of intent’, the Blues chief of four years believes it will be a physical game against his former club.
Brown made his Bolton debut at Roots Hall against Southend, and he says that he won’t be any more determined to get the three points than usual.
“I don’t think there’s any extra motivation,” he said. “I left Bolton Wanderers a long time ago.
“Yes I was there for 14 or 15 years and had some good times there, the majority of which were in the Premier League.
“They’ve fallen on hard times and are in our division now and they struggled to adjust at the start.
“They’re now fully equipped to the rigours and the war of attrition that you get at this level and they’ve got that physical presence in abundance.
“Phil Parkinson is well versed at this division and Steve Parkin his assistant is exactly the same.
“You know exactly what you’re going to get. It will be a rough and tumble kind of game.
“You’ve got to win your battles and what you witnessed on Saturday is that if teams are going to come here to mess it up, then we can mess it up with them.”
Both clubs come into the game in form and all the ingredients are in place for a great game.
Blues have won four on the bounce whilst Bolton haven’t lost in eight. But Brown told SouthendUnited.co.uk he isn’t bothered about creating a spectacle.
“I’m not bothered about the excitement, I’m just bothered about taking the three points.
“Having won four on the bounce, we’re in a good place and we’re at home. But they travel well.
“They’ve won ten games away from home this season, but they struggled on Saturday against a very well organised Chesterfield team who stifled them.”
Blues will be sweating on the fitness of two key players, however, with Ryan Leonard also unavailable due to suspension.
"With the games coming thick and fast, we want everybody to be fit and ready for the game," Brown added.
"Obviously Lenny is suspended, Nile Ranger went over on his ankle and he’s a 50/50 for the game and it’s the same for Anton Ferdinand.
"We’ve got some big players that are doubtful for the game and that could be a big part in the performance and the result.
"Where Bolton were concerned they missed Gary Madine on Saturday and that altered their psychology of trying to win the game against Chesterfield which they ended drawing.
"It’s up to the squad then if Nile doesn’t make the party, Lenny certainly won’t and if Anton doesn’t then we’ve got three big decisions to make.
"We’ve got a strong squad and we’ve got a strong fit squad, that’s the main thing."