Kevin Davies wants to write his own name in Bolton Wanderers' FA Cup history

12 February 2010 04:42
Fifty-two years have passed since Lofthouse controversially led Bolton to victory over a Manchester United team torn apart by the Munich air disaster three months earlier. Even now, debate still rages over the legitimacy of Lofthouse's second goal, which came as a result of the forward barging United goalkeeper Harry Gregg into the net.

Having had a seemingly good goal disallowed against Fulham last week for seemingly doing nothing more than jump with his marker, Davies knows well enough that he would be lucky to escape a red card if he so much as attempted a 2010 version of Lofthouse's goal against Tottenham on Sunday.

At 32, Davies is not going to lose his reputation as perhaps the Premier League's most physical forward.

And while he is not advocating a return to the days of 'anything goes', the Bolton captain approaches the fifth-round tie at home to Tottenham fearing that football itself, not just the FA Cup, is in danger of losing its audience if it does not retain at least some 'old-school' values.

Davies said: "I can never sleep the night after a game, so I go online and read match reports and quotes from fans on forums. Some of them say they would rather watch non-League games now because there's more honesty there.

"They say that seeing players diving and rolling around in the Premier League is too much. It's the same when you listen to the phone-ins on the radio.

"I hate players feigning injury. It's a man's game and, when players are trying to get you booked, it's not nice to see.

"I'm happy with the way I play. I always play honestly. I don't ever try to dive, roll around or scream.

"I don't try to buy fouls, but sometimes you don't get what you deserve. The cheating side of it is something I can't do. I'm no angel, but I try to play honestly."

The fact that Davies has earned notoriety as the Premier League's 'dirtiest' player he regularly tops the most fouls-committed table and stands two clear of Everton's Tim Cahill with 64 fouls this season is greeted with a shrug by the former Southampton forward.

But having been described as "hopeless" by Spurs manager Harry Redknapp earlier in his career, Davies insists he has worked hard to carve out a career as a Premier League striker.

He said: "It was a fair comment by Harry actually. I wasn't in the best of shape at the time and was carrying too much weight.

"I didn't have the best of games against his Portsmouth team that day, but since then I've done well against Tottenham, so hopefully he's changed his mind about me.

"I like Harry. He says it how it is and knows the game, so it's nice if someone like that appreciates the way you play. I suppose I'm a bit old school and Harry probably is as well."

Lifting the FA Cup for Bolton would buck the trend for Davies, who endured a controversial semi-final defeat with Chesterfield in 1997 before being dropped on the morning of the 2003 final by Southampton manager Gordon Strachan and told he had no future at the club.

Davies said: "There's no reason why we can't dream. I do. With my history in the Cup, it would be nice to get there and be the captain who leads his team out and lifts the trophy."

Source: Telegraph