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ON THIS DAY: Bolton Wanderers beaten by Liverpool in Coca Cola Cup final

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karlypants

karlypants
Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse
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From The Bolton News, April 2, 1995

Wanderers held their heads high after a magnificent performance in the Coca Cola Cup Final that did the town proud.

More than 33,000 Bolton fans cheered their heroes off the field in the Wembley sunshine as Bruce Rioch’s team were edged out 2-1 by a Steve McManaman-inspired Liverpool.

But after wiping away the tears of defeat, captain Alan Stubbs told his team-mates there was a bigger prize at stake, that of promotion to the Premier League, which resumed just a few days later with a game against Swindon Town.

“We have been beaten but all the talk in the dressing room was about the promotion push.” Said Stubbs. “We have to give it our best shot because we have just shown we are good enough to be up there in the Premiership.”

Over the Wembley weekend Bolton had dropped to fifth in the table but David Lee was certain that defeat against the Reds would not dampen the team’s enthusiasm to reach the top flight.

“I think this has been a great experience for us,” he said, as the fans started to file out into North London. “We have shown we can created chances against one of the best teams in the Premier League so I am sure we can do it against teams in the First Division.”

John McGinlay added: “The best prize is yet to come. What bigger prize is there than promotion?”

The great Nat Lofthouse spoke highly of Bolton’s performance on the day, reflecting after the final whistle: “The two teams have done English football proud. They let one another play football and we saw three fantastic goals. You can’t grumble about that.

“This is how football should be played. Even the crowd played its part. I wish we had won but we were beaten by the better side on the day.”

McManaman, very much the thorn in Bolton’s side on the day with both Liverpool goals, added: “I spoke to Stanley Matthews before the game and he said that he liked the way I dribble the ball, which coming from him was quite a compliment.

“Bolton were fantastic and pushed us really close on the day. But I am obviously delighted that we could pick up the cup.”

FROM The Bolton News - April 2, 2002

SAM Allardyce was getting anxious as he set his sights on the four points he felt Wanderers needed from their final four games to secure safety.

A 3-1 defeat at Everton in which Duncan Ferguson and Kostas Konstantinidis were sent off left Bolton just above the bottom three and put pressure on the following weekend’s visit of relegation rivals Ipswich Town.

"To be certain I think it might be 40 or even more," the Wanderers boss suggested, offering his "guestimate".

"You can't go any lower than that and hope to be safe - even though that might be a possibility.

"We've just got to keep going and try and pick points up when we can and not leave ourselves in the precarious position of wanting something in the last game," he said. "We've got to make sure we do it as quickly as we can.

"Yesterday was an opportunity to do that but we didn't take it. Now Saturday becomes the next opportunity to heap pressure back on Ipswich if we can get a win against them."

FROM The Bolton News - April 2, 2013

PHIL Gartside came out fighting in defence of Wanderers' handling of Kevin Davies' expiring contract.

The former England striker had been told he would not get a new deal at Bolton by manager Dougie Freedman - but the decision prompted somewhat of a backlash from the fans.

“I’m surprised that it has come as such a shock when it has been in the press and social media for two months that he was considering a move and there was no contract," said the former chairman, who also said a testimonial would be granted if an official request came from a committee willing to organise the game.

“It is always difficult. Ten years is a long time to have known someone.

“I can’t call him a close friend but we have been close and part of the club. But all things come to an end.

“We were trying to do the right thing and trying to help him move on if that is what he wanted.”

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