Freedman's Trotters must bounce back
TEAMtalk FanZoner Mickey Holland assesses Bolton's play-off bid after their defeat at Charlton, and gives his take on club legend Kevin Davies. It has been a tough week for all concerned at the Reebok Stadium culminating in a disappointing 3-2 defeat at Charlton, which further dents our chances of clinching a play-off spot. Thankfully results went our way with Forest and Brighton sharing the points in a 2-2 draw, while Leicester slipped up at home to Millwall on Friday night, so like Dougie Freedman has said, all is not lost. We now have back-to-back home games starting with Huddersfield on Tuesday night before Wolves visit on Saturday. It is the perfect chance to bounce back after two disappointing defeats and six points are a must ahead of trips to Bristol City and Leicester. Our home form has been excellent over the last month and a couple of good wins over the next week will give everyone confidence going into the games at Ashton Gate and the Walkers Stadium. Fingers crossed then Dougie can lift the players over the next couple of days and get them fired up for the Huddersfield game. The week did not get off to the best start either with the news that Super Kevin Davies (SKD) has been told he will not be getting a new contract next season. The news may have come as a surprise to SKD, given his interview on Talksport, but it will not have shocked the fans. I don't think many of us will argue with the decision not to offer SKD a new deal, but I have to say the timing of it all was wrong, and from a fan's point of view the club could have handled it better. For a start telling SKD the news on his 36th birthday was a bit harsh and in hindsight surely the club should have said that all talks over his future were on hold until the summer when we know for sure what division we are in. Then SKD would have been left to focus on the rest of the season, with the ultimate aim of getting the club back in the Premier League. You can never question Davies' commitment to the club, he is a legend, but even he will struggle to be fully focused on the remaining games knowing he will be gone at the end of the season no matter what. Again you can see where Freedman was coming from by giving Davies the chance to go on loan with a club that could offer him a deal for next season as well. However I don't think Davies will be short of clubs willing to take him on next season and it could have waited. He will definitely get a Championship club and maybe even one of the sides who get promoted to the Premier League will take him as an experienced head. Also don't rule out Big Sam snapping him up for West Ham Wanderers if he stays in charge at Upton Park! The whole 'testimonialgate' saga was also a farce, happily stirred up by Talksport in interviews with SKD and chairman Phil Gartside. Again the club possibly could have been clearer about the situation. But to be honest Davies did not seem that bothered but Talksport were like a dog with a bone and it got blown all out of proportion. Gartside has since confirmed SKD will get a testimonial and the fans will be able to give him the send off he deserves, and his charities will make a few quid in the process. It goes without saying that Davies has been one of the greatest players to pull on the white shirt, certainly in my life time. Okay we have seen Okocha, Djorkaeff and Campo light up the Reebok with dazzling skills, but no-one has ever been more committed to the club than Kevin Davies. Davies has never been prolific, but all the top defenders hated playing against him, just ask John Terry, and without him, Bolton would not have been the force they were under Sam Allardyce. Davies used to 'dish it out' a bit and was often hammered by opposing managers including the likes of Arsene Wenger, but he used to take a few whacks himself and you wouldn't see him rolling around making a meal of it before calling for the opposition player to be booked! He would be back on his feet straight away and would get on with the game, something you don't often see in this day and age. Like the departures of Gudni Bergsson and Jussi Jaaskelainen, to name just a couple, seeing SKD leave will tug at the heartstrings. But he is taking his coaching badges and who knows one day we may see him back in the Wanderers dugout showing all the passion and commitment he did for us on the pitch over 10 years! Follow Mickey on Twitter at @Mickey_Holland.
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