Bolton Wanderers captain Darren Pratley has suggested that the club will need a whole new squad, after being relegated to League One.

Wanderers’ fate was sealed on Saturday as Pratley’s side lost 4-1 away to Derby County, condemning themselves to the third tier for the first time since 1992-93. And the captain believes changes to the playing staff will be needed, in order to return to the Championship.

“Every day there is something negative coming out of the club and it needs a whole new change, probably a whole new squad,” Pratley told BBC Sport.

“We have to take responsibility as players. On the pitch it’s not been good enough, off the pitch as well people have to take responsibility upstairs.

“Lets not kid ourselves – this has been going on for a couple of years now. Serious changes and things need to be made next season if there is any change of getting out of League One.”

Bolton were relegated to the Championship at the end of the 2011/12 season, after finishing a point behind Queens Park Rangers. But an immediate return to the Championship was scuppered, after finishing outside the play-off places on goal difference.

And Pratley has admitted that, regardless of their inability to change what has happened at the club off the field, it has affected the squad’s performances.

“Upstairs the finances seem like they’re sorted now and there needs to be a positive vibe around the whole club as the last couple of years have been negative.” Pratley added.

“Everything that has been going on, obviously it has been in the changing room whether you want it to or not – you can come out and say it doesn’t affect you but it does.”

The midfielder joined the club from Swansea in 2011, but was unable to help stop Bolton being relegated.

And the big worry for the club is that they follow in the footsteps of fellow former Premier League clubs Portsmouth and Bradford, who both have spent time in the fourth tier of English football.


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Third year Sport Journalism student at the University of Brighton.

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