Jermaine Beckford says Bolton Wanderers' team spirit is still strong ahead of FA Cup clash
THERE has been little cause for celebration at the Reebok just recently but Jermaine Beckford insists the mood of despondency has not transmitted to the dressing room ahead of tomorrow’s FA Cup clash with Blackpool.
From worrying inconsistency on the pitch to disturbing financial figures from the boardroom, it is little wonder the mood among Whites fans at present is one of concern and frustration.
For 25 minutes that dissatisfaction spilled over from the terraces on New Year’s Day, with Zat Knight singled out for special attention by the terrace boo-boys.
Things had settled by the final whistle, however, and with Wanderers managing to salvage a point thanks to David Ngog’s late equaliser there was at least something to cling on to in what has been a desperately unsettling time for the club.
You wouldn’t know that by Beckford’s demeanour – and it was with a typically upbeat attitude that the striker leapt to his team-mate’s defence after the game.
“It was unfortunate for Zat,” Beckford said. “He is a great guy and he is a leader about the place.
“The two incidents aside, he led by example. And we are sticking together.
“No one can take that from us. We are not far off – and I know I keep on saying this – finding that winning formula.
“It’s not necessarily doom and gloom.
“Yes, we got a bad start and that is costing us at the minute but it shows the character and determination in the camp that we came back from that.
“It was never-say-die until the final whistle, so how can that be a bad thing?”
Beckford found himself dropped for the Middlesbrough game having extended his lead at the top of the club’s scoring charts with a seventh goal of the season against his former club Leicester City.
But after loanee Joe Mason returned to parent club Cardiff City and Ngog seemingly still out in the cold despite his goal in midweek, he is one of the few senior options up front for the cup clash.
Freedman’s policy of squad rotation is far from popular with sections of the support but Beckford has no complaints personally. “I didn’t start against Boro but I don’t think it’s frustrating,” he said.
“I had a chat with the manager beforehand and we decided what was best for the team.
“We are both professionals, myself and the manager – we have great understanding.
“I know I am going to get my chance and it’s only fair everyone gets their chances as well.
“It’s not an individual’s game, it’s a team game.”