Keith Andrews: Bolton Wanderers start 'far from ideal'

Bolton Wanderers midfielder Keith Andrews

Keith Andrews has admitted that Bolton Wanderers expected to make a better start to the Championship season.

Owen Coyle's side, relegated from the Premier League in May, have picked up just four points from their first three league games back in the second tier.

And on Tuesday, they were knocked out of the Capital One Cup by Crawley Town.

"I think it was a challenge right from the off and the start that we've had has been far from ideal," midfielder Andrews told BBC Radio Manchester.

"I thought the first day of the season against Burnley would have been the kick up the back side that we needed. It was certainly an eye-opener for a lot of us.

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Cup exit shocks Bolton's Andrews

"Having played in this league before and played lower-league football, you've got to come to places and do the ugly side of the game first.

"It can't just be three, four or five players. It needs to be the whole team winning their individual battles. Then with the talent that we have, we should be able to play from there."

Bolton had led Crawley 1-0 with 10 minutes to go but then conceded two late goals, Nick Ajose scoring the winner for the League One side in the second minute of stoppage time.

"I, for one, knew what it was going to be like because I've played at many a ground like this," added the Republic of Ireland international.

"Unless you match the teams you're playing against, their hard work and the ugly side of the game, then you're going to come unstuck."

Wanderers have been linked with a move for Liverpool midfielder Jay Spearing before the transfer window closes on Friday, and Andrews believes he would be a good addition to the squad.

"He's a player who's been at Liverpool and played a lot of games for them last season," he said. "He's a fine young talent so I'm sure that, if he comes to the club, he'll certainly add to the competition."

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