'We'll fight to the end' - Iredale says Bolton are ready to rumble in League One

·3-min read
Jack Iredale believes Wanderers can handle the more physical sides in League One this season
Jack Iredale believes Wanderers can handle the more physical sides in League One this season

Jack Iredale reckons Wanderers showed the rest of League One that they are up for a fight with Saturday’s second-half performance at Port Vale.

The Australian defender was part of a resolute display with 10 men at Vale Park which protected a point and came close to grabbing all three.

Ian Evatt reasoned that it was a game his side would have lost last season and Iredale – signed in the summer from Cambridge United – felt the result said a lot about the attitude within the team.

“Any time you can pick up a clean sheet it is a positive, not only to us but it shows the rest of the league that when our backs are up against the wall we are not a team that is going to give up,” he said. “We’ll fight to the end.

“We did a lot of work in pre-season with our off the ball set-ups and pressing and that kind of stuff. When we can put that hand-in-hand with the qualities that we have got on the ball as well, it is going to be tough for other teams.

“I think given the circumstances it was a positive point so now we have to go on to the next one.”

Next up for Wanderers is a home game against Morecambe, who are without a win in their first three games this season.

Evatt’s side were twice held by the Shrimps last season and needed a last-minute goal from Jon Dadi Bodvarsson in March to snatch a draw at the UniBol.

Bolton had developed a reputation for struggling against the division’s more physical sides but Iredale believes the Port Vale effort proved something to the doubters.

“I think any possession-based team gets labelled with that, sometimes,” he said, asked if Wanderers had been saddled with a ‘soft-centred’ tag.

“The performance we put in at the weekend will stamp that into our own minds as well that when we need to roll our sleeves up, we have that in our locker as well.

“It isn’t just Morecambe – no side in this league is easy. When we can match and better the other teams, physically, then I think the quality of a lot of the players we have in this squad will come to show.”

Five out of the next six games in league and cup are at home, and as a new recruit, Iredale is enjoying acclimatising to his new surroundings.

“It’s obviously top-class facilities,” he said. “Playing here, as an away team a few times, you look at the size of the stadium and it was incredible and the surface. That was during the Covid time so I didn’t get to experience what it was like with the fans until when I made my debut here. To be involved in a club with facilities as good as this one, you’ve not really got any excuse other than to improve and to get better.

“Everything is looked after, our only job is to work hard and hopefully get results.”