Football: Todd believes quality is key to Bolton's success

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The Independent Online
COLIN TODD, the Bolton manager, claims his side have already demonstrated the firepower to shoot their way back into the Premiership. Wanderers have netted six goals in three League games going into today's Nationwide League First Division match against injury-hit Sheffield United at the Reebok Stadium.

Todd said: "The strikers are doing very well at the moment, but it all depends on the quality of balls into the box. I'm a great believer in the theory that quality balls into the final third get goals. So far this season we've had goals from crosses, and goals from midfield."

Denis Smith, the West Bromwich manager, admits the club face a tough time at The Hawthorns as they defend their unbeaten start against high- flying Norwich, who have a 100 per cent record. "This will be a real test, but these are the kind of tests we are looking forward to facing," said Smith.

John Hendrie, the Barnsley manager, has identified Birmingham striker Dele Adebola as his side's main threat before the meeting at St Andrews. Adebola has scored five goals in five games so far to help Birmingham make a perfect start to the season and Hendrie said: "Adebola is the main reason they have won their games."

Barnsley have severe injury problems, but Adebola still believes they will provide a tough test. "They have not had the best of starts to the season and will want to prove that they are still a good side," he said.

George Burley, the Ipswich manager, is confident his strikers can finally hit the target against Sunderland at Portman Road in a televised match, which kicks off at 6pm. Ipswich have started their league programme with three goalless draws and Burley said: "We hit the woodwork twice at Portsmouth last Saturday and I feel the goals will come."

Peter Reid, the Sunderland manager, is hoping to avoid a third successive defeat. He said: "Since I have been manager here I think it's fair to say Ipswich has not been a happy hunting ground for me."

Neil Warnock, the Bury manager, is optimistic his team can continue a promising start to the season at QPR. "It will be tough because Rangers are a quality side," he said.

John Ward, the Bristol City manager, is confident he has plugged the gaps in his leaky defence ahead of the trip to struggling Tranmere. "We have been working hard on defending better as a team," he said.

Alan Buckley, the Grimsby manager, has called on his players to follow his defenders' lead at Oxford. "Our defence has been magnificent, but other departments have to start functioning as we expect them to," he said.

Malcolm Shotton, the Oxford manager, is suffering his worst spell at the club with a run of three successive defeats. "We need to get back to what we do best," he said.

Port Vale, bottom of the table, have been ravaged by injuries ahead of the visit to fellow strugglers Swindon. John Rudge, Port Vale's manager, said: "At one point I got close to trying to get the game called off. We had eight players either out or doubtful with illness or injury."

Steve McMahon, the Swindon manager, refuses to be downbeat about his side's poor form. He said: "We've had a tough start to the season, playing some of the toughest in the league, and you look at teams such as Port Vale to pick up points."

Peter Jackson, the Huddersfield manager, wants his players to start taking their chances against visiting Portsmouth. "We dominated the game at Grimsby and I hope we can put that part of our game right, said Jackson.

Adrian Whitbread, the Ports-mouth captain, believes the club can achieve a first victory of the season. "We've had a fair amount of success against Huddersfield over the last few years. We always seem to do well and enjoy ourselves up there," he said.