Skipper Davies hoping for a Happy New Year after Birmingham win

First published in Sport The Bolton News: Photograph of the Author by , chief football writer

IT went from “oh no” to “olé” for Wanderers – but Kevin Davies knows they’ve been here before.

There was plenty to admire about the way Dougie Freedman’s men despatched Birmingham City on home turf to finish 2012 on a positive note but the question on everyone’s lips is, can they do it again tomorrow against Leeds?

Back-to-back victories in the league is something the Whites have managed only once in the current calendar year. But the skipper, who wrote in his programme notes on Saturday that the top two was still potentially within reach, knows that must change soon for his prediction to carry any weight.

“We have been here numerous times but hopefully some form is coming,” he said. “I have sensed it has been coming.

“We have had some pretty good performances since the manager took over but one or two that weren’t up to a decent standard.

“It was important after the last two results to get back to winning ways. And after going a goal behind we controlled the game. Adam (Bogdan) didn’t have too much to do.

“We were comfortable in the end and the third goal settled us down. And the ‘olés’ came out at the end, which was nice.”

It appeared a familiar story was unfolding when the atmosphere around the Reebok threatened to turn sour when Nikola Zigic scored early on. But Davies admits the timing of Marcos Alonso’s equaliser was perfect.

“It started creeping back in; a few balls went astray and you think ‘here we go again.’ But the goal – a great header from Marcos – got us back in the match.

“At half-time we were a bit cautious in case we got done by the long ball but the boys at the back defended really well.”

Leeds’ story acts as a cautionary tale for any club who drop out of the top flight.

In just six years, the Yorkshire club went from the Champions League semi-final to League One football and near financial ruin.

But nowadays they are among a clutch of Championship clubs clamouring for a return to the big time.

“The size of the club and the size of the city, they probably feel they deserve to be in the Premier League, like a lot of clubs in this division do,” Davies agreed. “But you have got to go and earn it. However, I would expect them to be in amongst it at the end of the season.

“We had a decent game against them at the Reebok and we will go there full of confidence.”

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