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Monday 09 January 2012

Riley relishes Bolton opportunity

Young Bolton defender delighted to be fighting for starting place after injury

Riley played against Stoke and West Brom in the Barclays Premier League

Bolton defender Joe Riley hopes to bounce back from injury by building on his promising start for Wanderers and playing more in the Barclays Premier League.

The 20-year-old put in good performances in the League matches against Stoke City and West Bromwich Albion in November - but a hamstring injury picked up in training ruled him out of action for more than a month.

But the youngster returned for Saturday's exciting FA Cup draw against Macclesfield and he said he hoped to push forward despite some stiff competition for a place.

"We will need to keep showing character in the rest of the season as we try to move up the League."
- Joe Riley

"Obviously it was good to get a chance because the injury had been quite frustrating. I had just got into the team and was doing well, and then I pulled my hamstring," he told Bolton's official website.

Riley added: "Gretar [Steinsson] has been playing well at right-back in the last few games and we have been winning points too.

"I've just got to keep knocking at the door and if I get an opportunity again then I've got to make the most and take the chance given to me."

Riley said he expected the spirit at Bolton to play a part in helping the side move up the Barclays Premier League table.

"We showed character [against Macclesfield] like we did against Everton [on January 4th] to come back after going behind.

"We will need more of that in the rest of the season as we try to move up the League table."

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Key Points

  • Joe Riley fit again following hamstring injury
  • Has played twice in Barclays Premier League this season
  • Says character will help Bolton climb table