Bolton Wanderers's 2016/17 season
League Position: 2nd in Sky Bet League One - promoted (2015/16: 24th in Sky Bet Championship - relegated)
Average league attendance: 14,933 (2015/16: 15,056)
Top league goalscorers: Zach Clough, Gary Madine, Josh Vela, David Wheater (All 9)
Comfortably cut adrift at the foot of the Sky Bet Championship table 12 months previously, Bolton Wanderers fans were able to celebrate an immediate return to the second tier this time round as Phil Parkinson led The Trotters to a second-place finish in his first season in charge. Wanderers' success was built on a watertight defence that conceded a league best 36 goals over the campaign as they erased memories of their nightmare 2015/16 campaign.
Parkinson added proven League One performers to his squad over the summer and that, coupled with keeping their young talents of Josh Vela and Zach Clough, saw The Trotters live up to their promotion tag in the early stages of the season. They won their first four games of the season and then embarked on a run of nine wins in ten leading up to Christmas to remain well in the promotion hunt.
The New Year, and the loss of Zach Clough to Nottingham Forest, threatened to derail the Bolton promotion bandwagon as they won just two of their ten league matches in January and February. Any lingering doubts about their promotion credentials were put to bed as six wins from seven set Bolton up for a return to the second tier which was confirmed with a final day win against Peterborough United at The Macron Stadium.
Phil Parkinson played more than 350 Football League games for Reading during an 18-year playing career that started at Southampton and took him to Bury. He moved into management and took over at Colchester United in 2003. He won promotion with the Essex side in 2006 but resigned to take over at Hull City, where he lasted less than six months. He moved to Charlton Athletic a few weeks later as Assistant Manager to Alan Pardew and took over at The Valley in November 2008. The Addicks were relegated in 2009 and lost in the League One Play-Offs a year later. Parkinson was sacked in January 2011, arriving at Bradford later in the year. The Bantams finished 18th in his first season in charge but he won promotion the following season, also becoming the first manager to take a fourth-tier team to a major Wembley final in the process when The Bantams took on Swansea City in the League Cup Final. Parkinson left Valley Parade last summer, after nearly five years with the club to take over at Bolton Wanderers.
Last Time Round
Head to Head
Brentford wins: 16
Bolton wins: 14