It’s often difficult to tell whether Premier League clubs care too much about the Carling Cup, especially when they make wholesale changes for these midweek matches. For example, Hull changed their entire team ahead of the visit to Swansea and couldn’t be too surprised when the Welsh club won the match. However, for Bolton, their humbling at home to Northampton was disappointing to the extent that you suspected they were pretty eager to win.
Sky Sports that Kevin Nolan is far from happy a being dumped from the competition, claiming that it represented a potential route into Europe. While many might argue that the Trotters would have done very well to make it to the latter stages, irrespective of last night’s result, it’s clear that the League One team’s victory has caused a few teacups to be thrown about in the dressing room.
He said: “We spoke after the game and we cannot be happy with this performance. It was a disastrous result.
“We know as players we have let ourselves down as well as the manager (Gary Megson), the staff and the fans.
“This was a massive chance for us to go on and do something outside the Premier League and maybe get into Europe through this route.
“But it was not to be and now all our attention will have to be on the league.
“It is down to us to make sure we stay up with the big boys and keep in the top eight.”
Keep in the top eight? Oh, you mean that you’re ninth after beating Stoke City at home and then narrowly losing at Newcastle? Bolton are likely to have something of a struggle on their hands to stay in the division this season, especially if they continue to perform as they did against Northampton. Are they really good enough to steer clear of trouble?