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Bolton heroes look to the future - 03/03/2004

Bolton heroes look to the future
Push for Europe
   Kevin Davies
   Ugochuku Ehiogu
   Mark Schwarzer
   Austin Okocha
   Youri Djorkaeff
   Bolton Wanderers
 Leagues & Cups:
   League Cup

Bolton goal hero John McGinlay today warned manager Sam Allardyce and his backroom staff that they must get the Reebok show straight back on the road
after their Cardiff agony.

McGinlay, a member of the team beaten by Liverpool at Wembley in the 1995 League Cup final, pointed out that they have a tough month ahead with Premiership games against Chelsea, Arsenal and Newcastle after Saturday's match at Birmingham.

He said: "They are still a couple of wins short of Premiership safety so they need to be positive and get going again quickly.

"That is a big test for the manager but if they can recover then they could still finish high enough to get a place in Europe anyway.

"They lost the game in the first 20 minutes when they looked very nervous. You can't give teams a start like that.

"Even so, I thought their luck was in when Schwarzer gave them a goal but Youri Djorkaeff had three good chances that didn't go in.

"I thought they would really go at them in the second half but they didn't create anything and it didn't happen for them.

Game plan

"Boro had a game plan which kept Jay-Jay Okocha fairly quiet and could have scored again late on when Bolton were pushing men forward."

Eddie Hopkinson, who played in the 1958 FA Cup winning side, had mixed feelings about the penalty controversies surrounding referee Mike Riley.

Hopkinson said: "It may sound like sour grapes but Mike Riley doesn't get on with Bolton. He seems to have something against us.

"To be fair he had to be sure of what happened to disallow the goal and it all happened so quickly. But it is illegal to kick the ball twice from a penalty.

"There's no doubt that the ball did strike Ehiogu on the hand at the end. You'll get those given 50 per cent of the time, but this time we didn't."

Looking forward

Former England star Hopkinson stayed faithful to his goalkeepers union by praising Boro's Mark Schwarzer for the way he recovered after gifting Kevin Davies his goal.

He added: "He could have gone to pieces after that but he pulled himself together well and made some tremendous saves, especially from Youri Djorkaeff.

"They did well after going 2-0 down so quickly but, overall, I thought their performance was a little disappointing."

Quicksilver forward David Lee and keeper Keith Branagan, who also played in the 1995 final, insisted that Bolton must put the defeat behind them quickly and
look forward.

Lee said: "They've got to put that game to bed and concentrate on the Birmingham game on Saturday."

Branagan said: "I feel so sorry for the players because I've been there but Bolton have come a long way and this is just a minor setback."

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