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Sibling rivalry on the menu for Ameobi brothers when Bolton host Cardiff

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Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse
There's an outside chance of a brotherly reunion on the pitch at the Macron Stadium tomorrow as Wanderers take on Cardiff City.

Whites striker Shola Ameobi could come face-to-face with younger sibling Sammy for the first time since the pair played together for Newcastle United.

Although Shola is likely to start for Wanderers, who are short of attacking options, fitness problems mean Sammy’s opportunities at Cardiff have been limited since he joined the club on loan from St James’s Park.

The 23-year-old – once a target for Dougie Freedman at Wanderers – has scored just once since moving to South Wales, with manager Russell Slade recently revealing some underlying problems.

“When Sammy came to us there were one or two fitness issues. Unfortunately, one of things we had to address was medication,” said the Bluebirds boss.

“He is on new medication now and starting to look fresher, stronger, not struggling for his breath. He has an asthma problem, but that is being dealt with much better.

“He’s had a change to his inhaler and he has altered his breathing patterns. Managing his pitch time has helped. Moving forward that has been a big thing for him.”

Ameobi is part of a Wanderers strike force that has been anything but impressive this season.

The league’s lowest goalscorers with just 12 in 18 games, Neil Lennon is in no doubt where improvement must come if he is to guide the club out of the bottom three – despite the off-the-field distractions.

“I do have a football team to run,” he told The Bolton News. “Football-wise our reaction to going a goal down the other night (against Brentford) was very good. But we had 25 attempts at goal and eight were on target, and therein lies the problem.

“That has been the case all season but I was really pleased with the way they played second half. We need more of the same.”

Wanderers remain four points off safety, although actual football matters have very much taken a back seat in the last few weeks.

As the ownership issue continues to rumble on Lennon has found more and more of his time taken up with questions about finances – but he is adamant the situation on pitch can be rectified.

“I have got a job to do – not only with you guys but with the fans, the players. Psychologically if we can get a win at the weekend – and I know I’ve said this for a few weeks – but we’re right back in touch,” he said.

“Then things start to look a little bit brighter. We are not playing badly, I really don’t think that, but we just lack a bit of quality when it comes to finishing things off.

“We are creating enough chances and in the majority of games we’re having the bulk of possession. But it’s results that count and I know that. I know it is my job to turn it around.

“The record isn’t good this season but I’m still confident we can change it around, despite everything that has gone on.” 


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