Fulham defeat a wake-up call - Reo-Coker

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

NIGEL Reo-Coker wants defeat to Fulham to be a wake-up call for Wanderers in their relegation fight.

The wheels fell off in spectacular style for Owen Coyle’s side on Saturday, when they were beaten soundly 3-0 by Fulham after three consecutive victories.

But the Whites head to Newcastle this afternoon with a message of warning ringing in their ears from experienced midfielder Reo-Coker, pictured.

“The best way to describe that was lethargic,” he said of the Fulham display.

“We didn’t give a true account of ourselves. We let ourselves down.

“It has put more pressure on the game at Newcastle, but let this be a wake-up call to us. It doesn’t mean we are going to continue in the same vein for Monday.

“The good thing is we have a chance to put this game right straight away.”

Owen Coyle is likely to make a handful of changes to his side at St James’ Park this afternoon, and Reo-Coker admits the strain of playing two games within three days will mean any result the Whites can gain in the North East will be a precious one.

“We have to be smart about the situation,” he said. “We have to approach the game with caution. If we come away with a point, it will be a great point, especially with the situation we are in.

“Newcastle will be more refreshed and chasing Champions League football. We are chasing survival in the Premier League.

“They will be the ones coming at us so we have to weather the storm and get ourselves into the game.”

Reo-Coker worked with Alan Pardew earlier in his career at West Ham and could have linked up with him again at Newcastle in the summer before opting for the Reebok. And he has been impressed by how his former manager has so quickly assembled a side now chasing a top four spot against the odds.

“They are a good team; they are a solid team,” he said. “That’s the best way to describe them. Alan Pardew has always been good at building teams with a work ethic from top to bottom.

“They have a great team spirit; it will be a difficult game. They have two strikers right now who are the in-form strikers in the Premier League in Djemba Ba and Papiss Cisse.

“We know it’s going to be a tough game but we have to weather the storm and put right what we didn’t do against Fulham.”

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