Jermaine Beckford backs his Bolton Wanderers double act with David Ngog
JERMAINE Beckford has revealed he and David Ngog have been through some couples therapy in an effort to get Wanderers’ season firing.
Both Whites front men got on the score-sheet against Blackpool in the FA Cup last weekend in what was a rare outing together in Dougie Freedman’s first team.
All eyes are now on the starting 11 for Forest tomorrow to see whether the Wanderers boss persists with a front two or reverts to his tried-and-trusted solitary striker.
Ngog has come in from the cold of late to score in his last two games and strike partner Beckford says he was on hand to help the Frenchman through a difficult spell in December when his exit at the Reebok looked a fait accompli.
“I’ve talked with David and tried to help but then I try to do that with everyone, that’s the way I am,” he told The Bolton News. “On the flip side of the coin, the lads do it for me as well.
“I think when you’re a striker things don’t always go your way and sometimes it’s down to your team-mates to put their arm around you, or to pass on a little bit of advice.
“If they take it, great, if they don’t, at least you know you tried.
“But definitely in David’s case he’s got everything in his locker to go and have a very long and successful career. You look at him and he’s got everything you would want from a striker.
“On top of that he’s a very good professional.
“With David it’s just a matter of keeping his head in the right place, keeping that focus and concentration.”
Beckford played the diplomatic card on whether he would like to be paired alongside Ngog, or anyone else, up front tomorrow.
But the signs point towards Freedman matching Forest like-for-like and returning to the 4-2-3-1 system he has employed for the most part this term. Every manager has got their own ideas and more often than not it’s a case of switching between one up front, two, sometimes three,” Beckford added.
“It doesn’t worry me too much and I’ve got used to playing up there on my own.
“Don’t get me wrong, sometimes it’s good to have someone else alongside you to shoulder that burden – to go up for the headers, win the ball or chase the stuff that goes over your head.
“But every formation has its perks and it just comes down to who you are playing.
“That all falls on the manager’s lap.”
Beckford took his FA Cup tally to 17 goals in 20 outings against Blackpool last weekend – and three of his incredible haul came against Forest in a third-round tie two years ago.
The striker rates that moment as one of the highlights of his career but would settle for a solitary goal against Forest this time around if it meant Wanderers returning to winning ways in the Championship.
“It was one of the greatest feelings I’ve ever had, especially knowing what it meant to the Leicester fans at the time,” he said recalling the cup victory over derby rivals Forest.
“Every time I score a goal it’s special but then to do it in the FA Cup and in a derby of such importance to the supporters, you can’t really describe it.
“I’m sure the Forest fans won’t be thanking me on Saturday but that’s part of the game, isn’t it.
“They have been going through a few changes this season but they are going really well.
“We’re coming off a win so hopefully we can show up, put in another performance and take three points.”