Cahill 'barely recognised' Bolton flops

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The Independent Football

Gary Cahill has said he was "terribly disappointed" with Bolton's 5-0 defeat to Stoke on Sunday. The centre-back despaired of how his team "just collapsed" in the semi-final at Wembley, and said he barely recognised the performance.

"We're terribly, terribly disappointed," admitted Cahill in the aftermath of the defeat. "The account we gave of ourselves today was way, way below the standards we've set this season.

"I couldn't believe what was happening out there. We've played so well this season but everything that has brought us success we didn't put into that game.

"To save a performance like that in front of fans who have travelled in great numbers to come and support us and we've just not performed for them, it's bitterly disappointing."

Cahill admitted that he was particularly frustrated with the style of Bolton's play.

"It was like a different Bolton team out there," he observed. "We've had success by getting the ball down and playing and moving and creating chances, but we just played into their hands.

"I don't know if the occasion got to some people, but we played far too many long balls and that's food and drink for them.

"It wasn't the same team that has been performing this season. The first goal came against the run of play and then we just collapsed."

Bolton still have their league position to play for, and Cahill said they must re-focus. "We need to move on from this because we've got the rest of the season and we don't want to throw away all our hard work.

"Everybody has to take knockbacks during their careers and we've certainly taken one today. Now it's how we respond. We've worked so hard in the league to get where we are we don't want to throw it away for the last six games."