Bolton veteran Davies is up for promotion fight

 

Bolton Wanderers will begin their quest to make an immediate return to the Premier League with a derby at Burnley today.

Owen Coyle's side saw their 11-year stay in the top flight come to an end on the final day of a troubled season back in May. Bolton's campaign will be remembered as much for the remarkable recovery of midfielder Fabrice Muamba, after he suffered a heart attack during an FA Cup match at Tottenham Hotspur in March, as their on-field travails.

Muamba was this week forced to retire from the game on the advice of doctors and the club will look to the 24-year-old as a role model off the pitch to inspire promotion.

The veteran Kevin Davies admitted Bolton faced a battle to go back up at the first time of asking, but is looking forward to the challenge. "We've had both ends of the spectrum. My first four or five years here were great – cup finals, qualifying for Europe and things like that," the 35-year-old said yesterday.

"Then things turned around and we had two or three years' fighting relegation. So there has always been a battle and something to play for while I've been in this side.

"Obviously, this season we've got another battle on our hands trying to get back to where we want to be and it's another one that I'm personally looking forward to."

Near neighbours Blackburn Rovers also made the drop down following a torrid campaign of their own, during which the manager, Steve Kean, came under fire from supporters.

The pressure is set to remain firmly on the Scot for the new campaign after the club's global adviser, Shebby Singh, claimed Kean would be sacked if he lost three games in a row. Singh subsequently offered an apology, after also calling midfielder Morten Gamst Pedersen a "pensioner", although Kean has been left bemused ahead of their opener at Ipswich Town.

"I don't really think it was an apology," he said. "I think there was an apology that feelings might have been hurt and people might have been rubbed up the wrong way, but I don't really see a retraction in there."

The third of the relegated teams, Wolverhampton Wanderers, face a testing start in a lunchtime kick-off at Leeds United, with their new manager, Stale Solbakken, set to take charge in the league for the first time.

Blackpool will look to bounce back from their play-off final defeat to West Ham United when they travel to Millwall. The Seasiders suffered a shock first-round Capital One Cup exit to League One Morecambe in midweek, when manager Ian Holloway bemoaned their finishing.

Newly promoted Sheffield Wednesday will return to the second tier with a trip to Derby County while fellow new boys Charlton Athletic are also away to Birmingham City.

Yorkshire clubs Barnsley and Hull City are at home to Middlesbrough and Brighton & Hove Albion respectively while Peterborough United will make the short trip to Leicester City.

Nottingham Forest will play host to Bristol City while Watford make the trip across London to meet Crystal Palace.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones
Theme parks continue to draw in thrill-seekers despite the risks - so why are we so addicted?

Why are we addicted to theme parks?

Now that Banksy has unveiled his own dystopian version, Christopher Beanland considers the ups and downs of our endless quest for amusement
Tourism in Iran: The country will soon be opening up again after years of isolation

Iran is opening up again to tourists

After years of isolation, Iran is reopening its embassies abroad. Soon, there'll be the chance for the adventurous to holiday there
10 best PS4 games

10 best PS4 games

Can’t wait for the new round of blockbusters due out this autumn? We played through last year’s offering
Transfer window: Ten things we learnt

Ten things we learnt from the transfer window

Record-breaking spending shows FFP restraint no longer applies
Migrant crisis: UN official Philippe Douste-Blazy reveals the harrowing sights he encountered among refugees arriving on Lampedusa

‘Can we really just turn away?’

Dead bodies, men drowning, women miscarrying – a senior UN figure on the horrors he has witnessed among migrants arriving on Lampedusa, and urges politicians not to underestimate our caring nature
Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger as Isis ravages centuries of history

Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger...

... and not just because of Isis vandalism
Girl on a Plane: An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack

Girl on a Plane

An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack
Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

The author of 'The Day of the Jackal' has revealed he spied for MI6 while a foreign correspondent