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Three out, one in? - 10/01/2003

   Gary Doherty
   Michael Ricketts

With Dean Holdsworth, David Norris, and Nicky Southall all moving on, it’s reported that Sam’s able to bring in only one replacement. I suppose it’s just a sign of the times and I’d rather see the club take things sensibly than go and gamble big money and than possibly pay for it later.

If it was down to me, Id be on the look out for a no nonsense defender, however – it’s not as easy as that! Firstly there’s no loan signings available between Premiership clubs, so If you’re looking at the domestic market, it’d have to be a Nationwide player. With respect to the Nationwide, are there any defenders with the capability to immediately perform well in the Premiership? The loan market is also different to the transfer market, you’re generally looking at players being discarded by clubs. So how many discarded players from the Nationwide clubs can cut it in the Premiership?

It’s not a time to buying for the future, there’s not even time to bed a player in! Of course the other issue is the fact that the club has to be able to attract foreigner’s. It might be OK for Newcastle to go out and get their defender, but they’re in the Champions League and fighting for a top four place. Bolton are offering a relegation dog-fight, whats' the most attractive option? Although it worked out well last season – Djorkaeff for example, it’s a tougher market place this time around.

Sam’s been put in a terrible situation with the Ricketts speculation. I’d heard that Tottenham were in for him on Tuesday, but if you let someone go, you need a replacement, and with Tottenham offering Gary Doherty, it’s not the answer. Ricketts has been scoring goals of late, he’s working for the team and looking hungry. If you’ve got a player playing like that, you don’t want them to leave! But with the man himself wanting the move, it’s a very awkward situation. Is he going to go out and give us 100% performances? He’ll not want to risk an injury if a move is around the corner, so he’ll not be playing to his potential. Looking at the offer from Spurs, I’ve nothing against Doherty – he’s an honest, decent player who’ll put in a shift for you, but he’s a centre-back come forward, like Ian Pearce at West Ham. We need someone focused on scoring goals, put simply…he isn’t so he’s not for Bolton!

Tomorrow’s game is massive, no doubt about it. I know it’s been said that Fulham and Birmingham will be OK, but I disagree. I’m sure they’ll be involved in the fight but if Fulham get the points, then it’ll put a real gap between them and the bottom four. On the other hand, a Bolton win would really give us a boost and then we’d be the one’s with a bit of a gap from the bottom three. Birmingham’s signings must be a bit of a slap in the face for a few of their players. Three new players – all looking like they’ll go straight into the side. It’ll be interesting to see how they settle in? It’s going to be a great, and interesting, weekend of football!!

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