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Davies backs misfiring Elmander
Published : 15 Feb 2010 15:26:42Rss feed
Elmander has scored just nine goals since a £10million transfer from Toulouse in the summer of 2008 and was grateful to Davies for sparing his blushes against Spurs. Having looked short of confidence in the penalty area when he opted to pass when faced with a chance to shoot from eight yards Elmander then blazed high over the crossbar with just goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes to beat. Davies showed him how it should be done in the 34th minute when he expertly converted a cross from the 28-year-old, who played a key role in the move which led to the goal. However, Elmander still could not follow suit early in the second half when he drilled into the side-netting from Davies' pass and it cost Bolton in the end as Jermain Defoe earned his side a replay. Elmander has regularly been derided for scoring just four goals this season, two of which have come in Barclays Premier League defeats, but Davies only has five yet he escapes criticism. And the Wanderers captain said he felt other attributes of his team-mates game were overlooked. "I have struggled for goals as well this year as well," admitted Davies. "He works his socks off and we are all behind him and believe in him because he does a great job for the side and as a team we appreciate what he does. "His work-rate is unbelievable. He has always been willing, he is a team player and he sacrifices a lot. "When you are playing up there sometimes you have to work for the team. "He runs the channels, he makes it difficult for defenders, closes the goalie down so the only thing that is lacking is goals. "The manager is working with him and building his confidence up. You can see he is desperate to score a goal and sometimes you can over-try. "But if he keeps doing what he is doing he is a good finisher because we see it in training. "If he gets in those positions one of them is going to fly in no doubt - you never know he might get us the winning goal down at White Hart Lane in the replay." The very least Bolton manager Owen Coyle demands from his players is commitment and hard work and he believes Elmander is giving everything to the cause having returned to the starting line-up because of injury to Ivan Klasnic. And as a former striker himself he knows fortunes can change in an instant and has told the Swede not to get too hung up on not scoring and instead to concentrate on just getting back into the groove. "I thought Johan Elmander was outstanding with his level of performance [against Tottenham]," said the Scot. "I don't know if he's trying too hard but he is getting chances because of his hard work and once he is in there he just has to show that level of composure. "Hit the target and if the goalkeeper saves them all well and good but if you hit the target then the more it results in goals for you - I know that from personal experience. "I didn't have the most power in the game but the more you get on target the more go in."
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