Football: Todd stands by Holdsworth

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The Independent Online
Wimbledon 0 Bolton Wanderers 0

THE BOLTON manager, Colin Todd, leapt to the defence of record signing Dean Holdsworth after the pounds 3.5m striker drew another blank against his former club Wimbledon.

Todd has no intention of making his club record signing the scapegoat for Bolton's failure to score the goals to drag them out of the relegation scrap.

He said: "His work-rate is very good. Probably when he was at Wimbledon the ball used to come into the box from all areas where we try and play our way in at times and crosses don't come in as often as they should do. There's no magic formula - he's the only one who can do it. If opportunity comes his way he has to make sure he hits the target. If the keeper makes a brilliant save he has to go for the next one.

"He just has to keep persevering. He wanted to do well, he's played his part in it and worked extremely hard but the goals just aren't coming for him.

"As a club we haven't scored a lot of goals so you can't put all the responsibility on Dean Holdsworth. You look at Cole at Manchester United. He was banging in goals left right and centre. Why is he not banging them in now? I don't know."

Todd has also been upset by rumours that Holdsworth had not settled in the north - reports, he insisted, which had no foundation. "He's living in Bolton with his family and he's very settled," Todd said. "He will figure in all the games that are left - that's how much I think of the player."

The visitors had the better of the chances but could not find a way past a resolute Dons defence and in-form keeper Neil Sullivan. Nathan Blake forced a good first-half save and Alan Thompson tested his handling with a dangerous free-kick.

Wimbledon: Sullivan; Cunningham, Kimble, Blackwell, Earle, Roberts, Perry, M Hughes, Ardley (Fear, 68), Euell (Clarke, 68), Leaburn (Gayle, 68). Substitutes not used: C. Hughes, Heald (gk).

Bolton Wanderers: Branagan; Cox, Frandsen (Salako, 88), Blake, Thompson, Bergsson, Sheridan, Todd, Phillips, Fish, Holdsworth (Taylor, 85). Substitutes not used: Giallanza, Johansen, Ward.

Referee: M Bodenham (East Looe).

Man of the match: Sullivan.

Attendance: 11,356.