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JOL ON BOLTON DRAW

Posted on 23 September 2007  - 12:00

Martin Jol was pleased with how we coped with Bolton's direct style in Sunday's 1-1 draw at the Reebok Stadium.

Martin Jol was pleased with how we coped with Bolton's direct style in Sunday's 1-1 draw at the Reebok Stadium.

It certainly looked the usual Bolton we were up against - the side that had won the last five league meetings at the Reebok - as long balls rained down on the heads of Michael Dawson and the rest of the defence.

As well as the free-kicks and corners, every throw-in in the last third of the pitch went into the box and the lads coped admirably apart from one free-kick as Ivan Campo rose highest to head home El Hadji Diouf's cross from the right.

That levelled Robbie Keane's strike a matter of minutes earlier and we certainly had the better chances in the second half as Steed Malbranque volleyed just over and Jussi Jaaskelainen saved well from Teemu Tainio and Keane late on.

"It was about two different styles and we had to cope with that style," reflected Martin. "Paul Robinson didn't have a lot to do, so that's good for us in an away game but on the other hand, we had two or three opportunties to score the second goal.

"It's never easy to go to Bolton but we coped with their style, so that was positive.

"We tried to keep the ball on the deck in spells and if you don't do that, you get an awful game. I don't think it was one of the greatest games I've ever seen."

Martin was quizzed by the media on his squad selection with Gareth Bale and Jermain Defoe left out and Aaron Lennon on the bench.

He responded: "You have to make certain decisions. You can only have four outfield players on the bench plus a goalkeeper, so you need a defender, a midfielder, a winger and a forward. It was a choice between Aaron Lennon and Gareth Bale, Gareth has played a lot of games in the last few weeks and he will get his chance again.

"It was the same with Jermain Defoe. Robbie Keane has a great record with away goals and did it again, so it's very important to have certain players. Jermain scored twice against Anorthosis Famagusta and he's pushing for a place again, so that's good."