Bolton's Bristol Rovers Reaction
In 82 minutes on Tuesday night, James Bolton put 290 days of injury misery behind him.
Bolton’s last Argyle start was against Ipswich Town on 26 March, and his only minutes this season came in a very short cameo against Wycombe Wanderers two weeks ago. On Tuesday, he was asked to start in the centre of a back three against Bristol Rovers, and did a sterling job. The defence kept a clean sheet, and with goals coming via the front two of Ben Waine and Ryan Hardie, Argyle emerged 2-0 winners and sealed a place in the semi-finals of the Papas Johns Trophy.
“It’s the best feeling in the world, being back, and playing in a team that is winning,” said Bolton. “There’s no better feeling.
“I’m pleased for myself that I got through the game, and I’m pleased for the boys, because we are one game from Wembley. Happy days.
“I can feel the soreness coming in tomorrow. I’ll be in the sea tomorrow doing a little recovery. That will be good.
“The sharpness will come, with playing games and in training. Last week, I just started to feel it a little more, I felt a little bit better. What I need is being on the pitch, getting minutes. I know it’s not going to just happen; it’s going to take time. I’m just hoping I can get as many minutes as I can and help the boys out.”
Bolton has had to sit out during a season where Argyle have not only reached the aforementioned semi-final, but lead Sky Bet League One having played 26 games this campaign.
He admits to a set of mixed feelings, being pleased for his successful team-mates, but feeling a little frustrated at missing out on all the fun.
Speaking of fun, players and supporters alike would delight in a Wembley trip in the Trophy final, which is now just one victory away. After 678 members of the Green Army followed Argyle to Bristol, Bolton would love to give those – and presumably many thousands of other Pilgrims – a grand day out at the National Stadium later in the season.
“The selfish me is thinking that I just want to be part of that winning team,” he said. “Football is a short career, and to be part of good sides is the best. That’s what you want to do: win things, win games. It’s tough on the side, when you see the boys winning and doing well, but hopefully I can be part of it now as much as I can.
“The momentum at this club is something else. It just keeps rolling; it becomes something when you are hard to beat, and you just have this winning mentality. It is just there; a feeling that you get in those tough times. Like today, we knew it was going to be a tough game, but with a bit of quality and grinding things out, we showed why we are winning games.
“It's brilliant for everyone, and the fans were class. They were out in force tonight, and credit to them. Hopefully we can go and get a Wembley trip for them.”