Date: 26th August 2007 at 2:12pm
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Long ball tactics, an overly physical approach and a goal keeper who can`t kick straight. Those accusations are usually levelled at Bolton, but on Saturday they applied to opponents Reading. The Berkshire side had key players missing and Steve ‘Mr Personality` Coppell was correct in his condemnation of ‘Mickey Mouse internationals` but that shouldn`t detract from Bolton`s attacking display. Goals from Gary Speed, Nicolas Anelka and Daniel Braaten sealed a comfortable victory.

The good news for Bolton, prior to kick off, was that Michael Duberry wasn`t playing. Not that he`s any good, but the midfield tubster usually manages to land on one of the opposition players, seriously injuring them in the process.

The Wanderers still look vulnerable in defence, but at the other end it was a different story. Three nil flattered the visitors and they could have had no complaints if Bolton had doubled their tally. El Hadji Diouf was the principal mischief maker aided and abetted by Nicolas Anelka. If these two are ‘desperate` to leave Bolton as reported on brain dead website Soccerway.com, then it doesn`t show.

In midfield Gary Speed ran the show and Mikel Alonso is starting to look like a very useful acquisition. Even Nicky Hunt had a good game. Yes, you did read that correctly.

Manager Sammy Lee was calm in victory. ‘In the defeats I tried to get something out of each game and although I am very pleased today, I won’t get carried away with it,’ he said.

‘I don’t wish to play it down because the credit should go to the players. The dedication and application they have shown throughout has been superb under very trying circumstances, so I am pleased for the players but there are still things that we need to put right.’

That`s an accurate assessment from a man who clearly knows his stuff. Hopefully it will be enough to silence the muppets who`ve been calling for his dismissal.

 

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