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Wanderers' preparations scuppered by Lee blow

By Rob
Thursday 4th August 2011
Bolton Wanderers suffered a major dent in their preparations for the start of the new season with the news that winger Chung Yong-Lee will likely miss the entire season with a broken leg.

The midfielder suffered the injury during a friendly match against Newport County earlier this week, in what was reportedly a poor challenge by an opponent. The leg break sees the South Korean star sidelined for at least 9 months, and leaves Wanderers' already threadbare squad exposed even further.

Just days earlier the Trotters had added wideman Chris Eagles to the squad, and competition for places in midfield was looking promising. But Lee's injury leaves Eagles as the only real option on the right-wing and Martin Petrov, whose form last season was distinctly hit-and-miss, the only natural winger on the left hand side.

Competition for central midfield berths remains strong, with the summer additions of Nigel Reo-Coker and Darren Pratley likely to challenge Fabrice Muamba and Mark Davies for regular starting slots, before Stuart Holden returns to first team action following his own injury lay-off.

Lee's injury leaves the possibility open for a change of formation from Owen Coyle's established 4-4-2 system. Coyle's lack of forces could see him weigh up the option of switching to an untested 3-man midfield or even a 4-man diamond, which could enable Eagles a bit of freedom to roam around the pitch. Either way, Bolton's creative options will be heavily depleted by the absence of Lee, whose impressive goal and assist contributions and hard work ethic will be sorely missed.

On top of this, a severe lack of strikers at the Reebok is more worrying for Whites fans. The only recognised forwards remain the ageing Kevin Davies and Ivan Klasnic, who struggled to make an impact except off the bench last season. The pressure is on Owen Coyle to land another gem of the likes of Daniel Sturridge as the start of the new campaign moves closer.

Total articles: 69

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