The highs and the lows.. - 04/03/2003

Funny old game, we play Man Utd off the park, then concede ANOTHER late goal but still manage a point. Van Nilstelrooy and Solksjaer hardly had a touch, but when we had the chance to keep the ball, we lost possession, it broke to Beckham and he put in a tremendous cross for the Norwegian to put home.

You then check the league table and although an extra 2 points would have been great, we look fairly comfortable. But since that Saturday lunch-time game, we’ve a gap of 16 days before the next match. In the meantime, both West Ham and Birmingham have played twice and collected 6 points each. So from leaving the Reebok with a bit of cushion between us and the bottom three – and our eyes focused on overtaking Birmingham, we’re now under the cosh again. This isn’t the first time we’ve had a good result and then had to wait for more than usual for the next game. Player’s who are in form want matches to come thick and fast, so we’ve been unlucky, and other teams have taken advantage. After last night’s Birmingham derby, it seems to me that it’s a straight two-horse race between us and West Ham. Sunderland and West Brom are as good as down, but will still have an influence on the relegation issue as they’ve games against us and West Ham to come.

Football’s so much about confidence, and with the way we’ve been playing we’ve got to be happy at Bolton. However now that the teams around us are winning, through no fault of our own, the pressure’s been cranked up and I just hope that this doesn’t undermine us. You look at the next Premiership game we’ve got – Liverpool at Anfield. Going back to the Saturday when we played Man Utd, I honesty thought we’d have a very good chance of getting something from the Liverpool game. Now it’s going to be much tougher, Liverpool’s win at Cardiff will give them one hell of a boost. They’ll be running out at Anfield with the fan’s firmly behind them after a great win against their bitterest rivals. I tell you, they’ll have their thoughts on Champions League football and it wouldn’t surprise me at all if they made up the points and got into the top four. Suddenly, after Sunday’s game, the challenge we face looks much more formidable! However we’ve quite a good record against the better teams and it’s certainly not doom and gloom, we have the ability and there’s no doubt that we’re capable of getting something from the game. We’ll pick up points and I honestly think we deserve to stay up, we may or may not get them at Anfield, but we’ll pick them up soon and I’m still confident of avoiding the drop.

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