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Bolton manager Megson not to risk Smolarek

last updated Thursday 11th September 2008, 5:45 PM
Gary Megson
Gary Megson
Bolton manager Gary Megson has decided not to risk new loan signing Ebi Smolarek against Fulham on Saturday at Craven Cottage.

Smolarek scored for Poland on Wednesday night in the victory against San Marino in a World Cup qualifier.

However Megson believes the 27-year-old striker is not yet ready for the rigours of the Barclays Premier League.

Instead Smolarek, who arrived on loan from Spanish club Racing Santander last month, will continue to work on his fitness.

Megson said: "I do not think Ebi would know the names of four or five of our players. He will not be involved against Fulham as he will need a bit of time to get used to the football here.

"There is no timescale on when he might be ready. Some players settle in really quickly, others never do.

"So we do not know what anyone is able to do as this is entirely different football (in this country)."

Megson reiterated his backing for Kevin Nolan, who has come under fire from a section of the Bolton crowd this season.

At the end of the last home game - a goalless draw against West Brom - the Bolton captain was involved in a heated exchange with a fan.

Megson said: "Kevin wants to win and wants to do well for the club. If people are starting having a go at him and are from Bolton, then we are sunk.

"He is a terrific lad and a good player. He is the heart and soul of this club."

Megson is down on numbers for the match against Fulham as Johan Elmander (hamstring) and Matt Taylor (broken toe) are injured while Gary Cahill is suspended.

Source Ken Gaunt at PA Sport
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