Jermaine Beckford sets sights high after netting first league goal for Bolton Wanderers
JERMAINE Beckford swears blind that goalkeepers have improved, defenders have become more adept and the woodwork has become thicker since his last Wanderers goal against Shrewsbury Town in the Capital One Cup.
Sure, it may have been said with tongue firmly in cheek, but despite all his trials tribulations in the last few weeks, the smile has rarely left the former Leicester City man’s face.
Beckford has an air of assurance that belies the fact he has waited this long for a league goal for his new club. But he feels that having got off the mark against Birmingham City the win will also see a change in fortune for Wanderers too.
“It’s always nice to score, especially after you’ve not had one for a while,” he smiled.
“But in my defence, the goalkeepers have been having good games, defenders have made great blocks and the woodwork seems to be really thick this season!
“If it gives the team confidence that gives me confidence – and I have more than enough faith in the boys to be achieving more than what we have so far.”
Beckford is, in fact, waiting for a hat-trick and with two daughters already in the clan is on red alert for the birth of his baby son in the next few weeks with his wife heavily pregnant.
Self-confidence is not something the 29-year-old lacks at all but he has the same belief that Wanderers can still find success after a nightmarish start.
“You see it every year that teams come through – and there is no reason why that cannot be Bolton this year,” he said.
“We have a great starting 11, a great squad – there were a few players unfortunate not to make the bench who are very good players.
“We have strength in numbers. In my eyes we have more than enough to make the play-offs and get promoted.
“It is still early days so if you tally up the points still available mathematically it is a massive possibility still.”
The October international break is known as somewhat of a tar pit for managers whose sides have not lived up to expectations – just ask Owen Coyle, who was sacked at the Reebok a year ago this Wednesday.
Some predicted that his successor Freedman could go the same way – but Beckford is glad to see the gloom-mongers were not proved correct in this instance.
“I have complete faith and trust in our manager,” he said. “He is a great guy, a great manager in my eyes. We have not been dominated so it has been unfortunate.
“Results are results but the way that everything is set out and how we’ve been playing is really good.
“It’s one of those things. I have complete faith in him and I don’t think about the other side of it.
“I don’t think it will happen and I don’t think it should happen.”