NEXT up are the views of reporters of Bolton Wanderers and Peterborough United. Click below to see how they think their teams will fare in the run-in.



What’s left: Stevenage (A), Reading (H), Portsmouth (H), Shrewsbury (H), Port Vale (H), Peterborough (A).

How it started: Wanderers made no secret of wanting automatic promotion this time around, in fact manager Ian Evatt had declared it before he left Oakwell in May after losing the play-off semi-final. That was always going to need investment and without spending the daft sums some club have in League One in recent years, the Bolton board backed their man. All the notes are there, it seems, they just need to be played in the correct order.

How it’s going: Bolton have been there or thereabouts all season and were very handily placed at the turn of the year, tucked in behind Pompey with games in hand. They have had some stinking luck with injuries and a relentless schedule of 22 league and cup games in 76 days, but they now find themselves chasing a daunting gap to Derby in second and simply haven’t taken enough points in the high-pressure games.

Gut feeling: If Wanderers can get top scorer Dion Charles and keeper Nathan Baxter back fit and firing, I think they can keep pressure on Derby in case they slip up. If they are destined for the play-offs then I’d back them against anyone at Wembley. Getting there over a two-legged semi-final is the hard part.

Star and saviour: Wales international Josh Sheehan has risen to the fore as Bolton’s chief playmaker and, quite frankly, he’s a gorgeous player to watch. At his best, he knits things together effortlessly, and even though he gets kicked up in the air at least half a dozen times each week, keeps on coming back.

Worry lines: Results have been patchy in 2024 and Bolton haven’t won enough games against the teams around them to make folk feel easy about the run-in. When they are at it, they are sublime, but there is still an air of inconsistency which makes them a hard team to read.



What’s left: Carlisle (H), Orient (A), Port Vale (H), Oxford (A), Fleetwood (H), Bristol R (A), Cheltenham (A), Bolton (H).

How it started: For the first time in recent memory, I tipped us to finish outside the top six in a League One season. I went for 12th after we shed a load of seasoned promotion winners at this level in favour of youngsters with pace. In my defence I did expect Ronnie Edwards to be sold in August. The club were quietly (unusually for our chairman) confident of a good season, but they weren’t shouting from the rooftops. I expect they have been pleasantly surprised by what they’ve seen so far.

How it’s going: It’s been an exceptional season so far, as much for the style of play as the results. I’ve been watching them for 50 years and can’t remember ever seeing such easy-on-the-eye enterprising football. A 12-game unbeaten run (remarkably in between two Wigan defeats) had us dreaming of a top two finish and five wins in a row (after four straight defeats) raised optimism levels again until losing to Pompey on Saturday. We played well in that game, so form remains strong.

Gut feeling: We will finish third behind Pompey and Derby. I can see us winning many of our last 8 games, but we might need to win them all to get into the top two and we’ve only ever done that twice in our 64 year Football League history. We do have the bottom four to play so you never know, but we have a lot of games in April.

Star and saviour: Top scorer Ephron Mason-Clark to leave with a bang before he formally joins Coventry City in the summer.

Worry lines: The lack of a natural goal-scoring centre forward to complement two exciting wingers. If we could combine the speed of Ricky-Jade Jones with the finishing of Jonson Clarke-Harris we would be top two now!