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JOL GETS RIGHT RESPONSE

Posted on 30 April 2006  - 12:00

Martin Jol was delighted with the response from the lads after he told them them at half-time against Bolton: "We need to win this game."

Martin Jol was delighted with the response from the lads after he told them them at half-time against Bolton: "We need to win this game."

Bolton's pressing game and direct, aerial style caused us all sorts of problems in a first half where we simply couldn't get our own passing game going. We barely carved out a chance while the visitors struck the woodwork via Hidetoshi Nakata.

Head Coach Martin's plans took a further knock in our final home game this season when Robbie Keane had to be withdrawn at half-time with an ankle injury.

However, we looked a different team at the start of the second half and capped our best spell with a fine goal from Aaron Lennon just before the hour mark.

Our defence then stood tall as the ball continued to land in and around our penalty area and we survived a couple of scares but held on for another vital three points.

Victory now in our final match at West Ham next Sunday will secure fourth place in the Premiership.

"We couldn't get into our game and we had a few problems," reflected Martin. "Bolton have a very difficult style to play against and everything they do has a purpose in that style.

"We wanted to do something with Robbie Keane like we did against Arsenal but he then had to come off at half-time and that meant we had to do something else.

"We spoke at half-time and said it didn't matter how but we needed a win and that's exactly what we did. We dug in and ground out a result.

"We needed something special and Aaron Lennon came up with it.

"It was a test and we had to win against a team that is so strong physically.

"We said before that we had to play to our strengths and we didn't do that in the first half, we couldn't. In the second half we did better.

"It's good the lads can respond and bounce back because I thought in the first half it could end up a real anti-climix - our final home game of the season in front of our fans. They supported us terrifically and in the second half they were right behind us."