Davies admits 'I deserved the elbow'

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

KEVIN Davies accepts he deserved the axe from Owen Coyle after admitting he had started to take his place in the Wanderers line-up for granted.

The Wanderers skipper was a high profile casualty in the recent 3-0 defeat at Arsenal, starting on the bench for a Premier League game for the first time in nearly three years.

Davies had no complaints and concedes that his standards had slipped since the start of the season – but after being restored to the team against Chelsea, he is now determined to lead the side out of their current slump.

“I don’t think my form has been great and I rightly found myself out of the side,” he told The Bolton News. “Maybe because I was playing consistently, I took my eye off it. There is competition for places now and I found myself out of the reckoning.

“Maybe that’s what I needed. I felt I performed a little better against Chelsea.

“Perhaps I lacked a little bit of confidence in myself, I’m not too sure, but I’m back in the side and I’m captain of the club so I feel I have got a big part to play.

“We have to get on with our work because we’ve got some important fixtures coming up.”

Wanderers prop up the table after seven games, having conceded 21 goals – more than any other team at this stage of the season in Premier League history.

With the likes of Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester City now out of the way, the pressure is now on the Whites to improve quickly in the coming weeks.

And Davies believes a change in fortune is just around the corner if the team can keep their heads.

“It’s not a time to start panicking,” he said. “We haven't been good enough and we haven’t competed against some top teams. But I have never been one to make excuses or hide behind things. We have to put this all behind us and get a positive result against Wigan in a couple of weeks.

“With the fixtures coming up I think we can get on a bit of a run, but we do need to stand up and be counted.

“I’ll be working as hard as I've ever done and hopefully the boys will stick together.

“We have a good set of boys and a good manager, so it’s just a case of making it happen now.”

Coyle said after Sunday’s 5-1 thrashing at the hands of Chelsea that the improved second-half performance is likely to give a hint to his selection plans against Wigan when the teams reconvene after the international break.

The Wanderers boss is desperate to plug the gaping holes that have emerged in the current six-game losing streak as has Ivan Klasnic, David Wheater and Gael Kakuta to come back into the equation at the DW Stadium.

“I don’t think anybody can say their spot is safe, really, which is good in a way,” Davies said.

“The manager has a lot of options in all positions and he keeps tinkering with it.

“But it's not just the defence or the goalkeepers who should be defending, it's the whole side, and it's something we'll be working on.”

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