After three straight league defeats, Gary Megson wants his Bolton side to draw first blood against Fulham at Craven Cottage this afternoon.
There are very few games in the Premier League where the team that scores first then goes on to lose. It’s so important — not for any other reason than for what it gives your team, the feel-good factor.
Bolton wasted good opportunities to go in front against Blackburn – our opponents in midweek – last time out and slumped to a 2-0 defeat.
Against Blackburn, one of our players had a great opportunity from three yards at 0-0 and didn’t take it. We then hit the bar, although it would have been a fortunate goal, 30 seconds before they scored.
Before that, there was absolutely nothing between the two teams. Arguably, I would have said we were on top, so it shows just how important that first goal really is.
The article throws up some interesting statistics. Fulham have won every game in which we’ve got the first goal, with only Manchester United having a better record than the Whites. Bolton have scored first in five of their 12 games this season, something which accounts for all bar one of the 11 points they have garnered so far.
Megson rejects the suggestion that his players lost confidence after conceding the opening goal on Sunday.
I have read comments but I didn’t think players’ heads went down after the first goal, they went down after the second one and that’s probably understandable.
There was a period after the half-time break where it was looking like we were going to create that equalising goal. We have sat the players down and watched the first half, and they see that most of the football is in Blackburn’s half, they see the chances we have, and the fact we go 1-0 down. You can’t make it up, that’s why we let them sit down and let them watch it.
There is bound to be a bit of disappointment when a goal goes in against you. But after the first goal went in, we had a glorious chance again from a corner, so I don’t accept that heads went down.