At his press conference prior to tomorrow’s game with Charlton Athletic, Ståle Solbakken was questioned about the way his team was forced back by Bolton in the closing stages of Tuesday’s match.
But the manager denied that Bolton’s dominance in the closing stages of Tuesday’s draw was down to a lack of fitness.
“Lack of fitness?” he exclaimed, “Tony Daley would get very angry if you put that question to him.
“I praised him the other day because of his work with the team and for his individual work where he sometimes takes someone to give them some extra work. So I don’t think there is any issue there at all.
“No one was asking that question after Huddersfield and against Palace, we countered after they scored and we weren’t sitting back then, when we maybe should have.
“The right answer is always the result in a way.”
The boss, however, admitted that tiredness did take its toll on some of his players. He explained: “That’s why we made the substitutions and we can very quickly measure everything statistically.
“Sometimes you can see things with a trained eye and I sometimes trust that more than the statistics.
“Take six players – the four midfielders and two strikers – but certainly Doyle, Tongo and Karl Henry ran far more than the average Championship player, both in terms of intensity and how long they ran. Both full backs fitness-wise are very strong.
“The wide players live on their explosion so you can’t say to them run at that tempo, they will lose their element of surprise because they need something extra in the bag for the right moment.
“We put in a good shift on Tuesday, but you also have to look at the opposition.
“Bolton gambled on pushing very high up the pitch in the second half with both Mark Davies and Jay Spearing and we made a few technical mistakes losing the ball which forced us to run and chase it a bit.
“That makes us tired but they were small margins – Bjorn could have made it 3-1 and then it would have been all over, and I don’t think Huddersfield came more than 30 yards out in the last 20 minutes.
“I don’t think they wanted to sit back but sometimes that’s the case in the Championship.”