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A big night for the club - 21/01/2004

   Simon Charlton
   Youri Djorkaeff
   Austin Okocha
   Bolton Wanderers
   Aston Villa

It goes without saying that tonight’s game against Villa is one of our biggest games of the season. It’s not that it’s simply a chance to play at the Millenium Stadium and win a cup final – but it’s also the prestige and the opportunity to play in Europe. Add these factors into the mix and there’s a big, big prize out there.

We’d have preferred to have played the first tie at Villa Park, but it’s the luck of the draw and we have to get on with it. Per Frandsen is both suspended and injured – so there’s little chance of seeing him play tonight, but Simon Charlton is now fit and he’ll be a big bonus for Sam, His form this season has been excellent and he’s a big reason why the loss of Florent Laville hasn’t been as painful as originally thought. I look at their side and the one player who stands out is Angel, he didn’t have the best of starts when he came to England, but now he’s showing what a class player he really is. It would be interesting to see how he’d do in a class side, he could be absolutely tremendous!

In my minds eye Bolton edge Villa when it comes to being a better football side. We have more experience, strength and with players such as Okocha and Djorkaeff – a little more technique. But they are well organised and younger and this one should be tight – certainly over the two legs.


It’s great news to hear that Youri Djorkaeff may saty at the Reebok for another season. He’s been a very consistent performer this team and if Jay Jay has that extra bit of flair, the Frenchman’s week in, week out displays have been more important to the team. He’s certainly earned another year’s contract and I’d be very happy if he signed the deal.

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