Tuesday 08 May 2012

Davies issues Bolton rallying call

Wanderers captain says players are ready to fight to stay in Barclays Premier League

Bolton's Kevin Davies believes the club can stay in the Barclays Premier League

Bolton Wanderers captain Kevin Davies is calling on his players to pull off the 'great escape' against Stoke City on Sunday.

The Trotters currently occupy 18th spot in the Barclays Premier League and must win their final match to stand a chance of avoiding relegation.

They will also need Queens Park Rangers to lose in their final match against title-chasing Manchester City if they want to avoid their first relegation since 1997/98.

"You need to be putting your body on the line and we haven't been doing that enough"
- Kevin Davies

"It would be a great escape," Davies told Bolton’s website.

"Let's hope we can do it the hard way because you know it will be difficult at Stoke and they'll want to finish the season off in style.

"It is all hands to the pump and we know we'll have to pull out a massive result. But we have done it before - we did it at Aston Villa - we need some heroes.

"You need to be putting your body on the line and we haven't been doing that enough."

Davies said the manner of Bolton’s dropped points in their previous match against West Bromwich Albion – in which they let a 2-0 lead slip and ended up drawing 2-2 – was difficult to take.

Nerves

He said: "We have had discussions in the dressing room and I don't know what it was, a bit of nerves. It isn't easy being in the bottom three.

"Maybe it's natural instinct to drop a little deeper and get behind the ball rather than look to score a third. At 2-0 I thought we'd be comfortable but when they got themselves back into the game we looked even more nervous.

"It is hard after a game like that - you look at what you could have done individually and then as a team and obviously we are all disappointed.

"QPR scored late on and we conceded late on, so that is a massive swing. It could easily have been us sitting above them, but it's not. That has been the story of the season. It has been a battle."

Bolton will have to go into the match without injured defender David Wheater, who is facing up to nine months on the sidelines after rupturing the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee.

Wheater picked up the injury against West Brom.

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Key Points

  • Skipper Davies says Bolton can stay in the Barclays Premier League
  • Trotters need to win their final League match at Stoke City on Sunday
  • Club hit by injury to defender David Wheater