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A Trotters point of view

What made you support Bolton mate?
They're my local club. As a kid, I lived within walking distance of the ground and used to go with my mates. Bolton were even more unfashionable then than they are now and it would have been easier to support one of the big clubs nearby. The clincher came in a league cup tie. We'd just been relegated to the old third division and were drawn against Man City, who'd been league champions a couple of seasons earlier. No one gave us a chance, but we beat them 3-0 in front of 42,000 fans at Burnden Park (our old ground). I was hooked.

Are you happy with how your season is going so far?
Happier than I was, after last weeks result. It was always going to be a difficult season, and we were let down early on by some shocking defending. We seem to have got that sorted now, so it's just a matter of creating more chances. Easier said than done.

From an outsider's point of view Sammy Lee is a fantastic coach, but not a good manager. Ok it had been a struggle early in the season but was it right he was sacked when he was?
The timing of his sacking was odd, coming after the best performance of the season, against Chelsea. I'd have given him more time, as he was starting to turn things round. Some say that he'd lost the dressing room, but the truth is that he never really had it. Sam Allardyce left the club in a mess, and whoever came in would have had a difficult job. A more experienced man would have been a better appointment.

Gary Megson has come in; can he save you from the drop? Also how is the job he is currently doing being portrayed with the natives?
We should avoid the drop although the fixtures in March will be tough. Megson was a seriously unpopular appointment. He was being booed even before he'd taken charge! Attitudes toward him have softened now as the club have climbed the table and most fans are supportive now.

Are you happy with the signings he made in January?
On the whole yes. Greter Steinsson and Gary Cahill look to be good players. Not sure about Matt Taylor yet. Most fans weren't impressed with us signing Grzegorz Rasiak from your mates up the road, but signing a goal scoring striker in January without paying megabucks was always going to be difficult.

Where do you reckon Bolton will finish this season?
14th

What about Pompey?
6th or 7th I reckon, which marks continued progress for the club.

If you could take any Pompey player - apart from the one you did! - from our squad and put him in yours, who would it be and why?
I was impressed with John Utaka, last time we played you. A pacy striker is always good to have.

When we played you earlier in the season and won 3-1 at Fratton Park a certain Gerald 'el' Cid played in your defence… sorry mate, but he was awful that day is he still playing - if so has he improved?
We had a Get Rid of the Cid campaign on Vital Bolton, after the first game of the season. (http://www.bolton.vitalfootball.co.uk/article.asp?a=77883) Some fans reckon that he's the worst ever Bolton player, which is some achievement, given that we were in the lower leagues not that long ago. We signed him from Bordeaux and I reckon that our scouts must have been on the local vino when they recommended him. Cid was released from his contract at Bolton in January and he's gone back to France after being signed by Nice. They must be mad.

You signed the legend that is Matty Taylor during the transfer window; I hope that you fellas are looking after him. How is he doing so far?
The jury's still out for me. He needs to get up to full match fitness although his effort can't be faulted. From things he's said on joining the club and since then, he seems to be enjoying himself.

Go on - who is going to win, Bolton or Pompey?
Bolton. I rate Portsmouth, but we're on a roll at the moment, and I think that will carry us through.

Questions answered by RMc from Vital Bolton.

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The Journalist

Writer: pompeyrug Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Thursday February 7 2008

Time: 8:00AM

Your Comments

There's another team who were impressed with Utaka. If we could get him shooting his cylinders at all games we'd be laughing but he seems to be running at 30% of his potential.
stillthewhizz
A point at Bolton is a minimum expectation. They have shored up their defence so we will need to take what comes our way. Quite hopeful of a win.
storagematt
I've said before that we'll get 3 points and I'm sticking with that; we're just too strong for the likes of Bolton at the moment.
UKTony
utaka was looking the dogs at that point wasnt he... we need that player to show himself again - thing is he thought those opening games were his worst game for us, figure that one out...
pompeyrug
its got to be 3pts against matty taylor's bolton - we need 6pts from the next 2 games, thats as far as i am looking at the moment tho tbh...
pompeyrug
Its a shame Matty's struggling to make an impact there, I suppose all those matches on the bench haven't helped him - or the penalty miss last week (unheard of!) Because we know what he's capable of and were so sorry to lose him, its a shame that he seems unappreciated. Hopefully he'll hit form sometime after Saturday.
tracyc
Matty can make a huge impact but after we play them.
storagematt
if utaka makes it back from ghana in time to play but even so i expect him to be on bench and play same formation as chelsea with diop in for hughes and maybe distin back
knocker
It is going to be interesting to see the formation - as he's stuck with 451 for a long time, but 442 worked better against Chelsea with the players that were on the field. I heard Kanu hasn't bothered turning up yet?
tracyc
Burnden Park - brings back happy memories. Went there September 1969 and Pompey won 1-0 Nippy Nick got the goal. great Sausages and Mash in the Supporters club bar beforehand ..very cheap I remember..friendly bunch too. Nice one and if you want Utaka we might be persuaded to let him go.
eastneydave
Finally we know someone who wants Utaka so we can get our money back for that 'investement'
whitestones
the reality is we haave only managed to beat bottom of the league teams recently and not even that at home, so the equasion is simple, want europe football = need three points
russellm
you didnt ask which pompey player BWFC should look out for, i think the answer would have been quite interesting
russellm
Maybe we can swap Utaka For Matty T then?
pompey4me
Djouf's the guy to watch (yeah, I know it's a crime his name around here, but he's damn good). I have a lot of admiration for the Trotters. Their owner (Warbutons) are a bunch of cheapskates but they still manage to sweat it out.
Toronto4Pompey
I thought big sam did a nice job with them, taking them from relegation battlers to euro contenders, and even brought in a bunch of memorable names
whitestones
Bolton are a good team to watch...... not from a footballing point of view but from a 'look what happens when you lose a long serving manager' perspective. We could have been Bolton had Harry left. We need to win this one fellas and I think we will and I also think Harry will play with 2 up top. Shame about Taylor not be match fit yet .. but he'll come good .. after Saturday I hope...
Chix
 

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