REEBOK legend Jay Jay Okocha has launched a stinging attack on Wanderers following their relegation from the Premier League.

The Nigerian magician, who played 145 times for the club as they established themselves as a top-flight force and twice qualified for the UEFA Cup, has been reluctant to voice his opinion on Bolton matters in the past.

But in an article published by a national newspaper, the 38-year-old criticised the lack of progress made since he left in 2006. “We changed the image of the club,” Okocha said of his time with the Whites under Sam Alardyce. “We established the club in the Premier League and we thought they would build from there.

“But all our efforts have been thrown away. It feels like all that work was wasted.”

Okocha joined Fernando Hierro, Bruno Ngotty, Ivan Campo and Youri Djorkaeff as world-renowned stars that chose to play out their autumnal years at the Reebok.

And it was a transfer policy that not only established Wanderers back in the big time, but brought them four consecutive top eight finishes and their first two stints in European competition.

But while there was a change in tack under Sammy Lee and Gary Megson, wage bills continued to escalate, as did the finance ploughed in by owner Eddie Davies.

Owen Coyle’s arrival in January 2010 marked another change in direction, and the Scot was given a brief to curb expenses and start making more effective use of the club’s youth system.

But he was ultimately unable to keep the club in the Premier League after an arduous campaign, leaving Okocha to criticise the way that the club has been managed in recent times.

“I have been following the Premier League very closely because once you have been a footballer you have an affinity with the game,” said the former midfielder, who now lives back in Nigeria.

“It was a sad season for Bolton but it was bound to happen.

“When you don’t spend or invest in the future, you can't always get away with it.

“They have been playing cat and mouse with the club for some time now and the cat has caught up with the mouse. It is a pity.

“We laid a good foundation at Bolton but unfortunately for the fans, they have to deal with Bolton being a struggling team again.”