'We let everyone down,' says Nolan after 'disastrous' exit

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The Independent Football

Kevin Nolan has spoken of his disappointment at the way Bolton exited the Carling Cup. The club captain was hoping for a good run in the competition after they reached the final in 2004 when he was part of the side, but two goals from journeyman striker Adebayo Akinfenwa propelled League One Northampton into the third round draw on Saturday.

Nolan, who had been troubled by a calf problem, came off the bench to pull a goal back but that strike did not lessen his depression following Tuesday's 2-1 home embarrassment.

He said: "We spoke after the game and we cannot be happy with this performance. It was a disastrous result. We know as players we have let ourselves down as well as the manager [Gary Megson], the staff and the fans. This was a massive chance for us to go on and do something outside the Premier League and maybe get into Europe through this route.

"But it was not to be and now all our attention will have to be on the league. It is down to us to make sure we stay up with the big boys and keep in the top eight."

Nolan took issue with referee Graham Laws for sending off Gary Cahill when Bolton were two goals behind and chasing the game. Cahill now faces a three-match ban, starting with the home Premier League match against West Bromwich Albion on Saturday for a high challenge that left Giles Coke with a damaged shoulder.

Nolan said: "I do not want to start having a go at the referee, but it was harsh because Gary was committed to the challenge and wasn't going for the man. We are going to lose him now and that's another big disappointment for us but something we are going to have to deal with."

Bolton are also likely to be without injured pair Johan Elmander (hamstring) and Matt Taylor (toe) for the match at the weekend against the newly-promoted side.

Nolan believes that Bolton will shrug off their frustration and relish the challenge at the Reebok Stadium. He said: "We will look at ourselves, get back out on the training ground as soon as we can. We will put this right, hopefully on Saturday against West Brom."