Football: Todd keeps Wanderers focused

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The Independent Online
COLIN TODD, the Bolton Wanderers manager, is hoping to take advantage of the play-off system he dislikes to secure an immediate return to the Premiership.

Todd's team finished in sixth place in the Nationwide League First Division but could still book a place in the top-flight next season - despite finishing 10 points behind tomorrow's semi-final opponents, Ipswich Town. However, he will not be rejecting promotion via a Wembley final.

"Personally I'm not a great believer in the play-off system," Todd said. "I've always said that if three teams are going to be promoted then it should be the teams who finish first, second and third. But everyone knows the rules at the start of the season and we've got to stick to them. We are delighted to still have the opportunity for promotion."

After finishing third in the Second Division, Joe Royle, the Manchester City manager, is confident his side can overcome Wigan Athletic in today's semi-final first leg. "This club's magnificent supporters have stayed with us in vast numbers and deserve their reward," he said. "We've had 46 cup finals in the League and we have three more to play. We know Wigan will be very tough but my players are ready for it."