Allardyce back to basics for Besiktas

Yesterday he celebrated six years in charge at Bolton - and his 51st birthday - but he is now telling his team to get back to basics.

"The foundation of what we are going to achieve has to come from clean sheets. We need to work on that 'no goals against' basis," said the Bolton manager. "We must not make it too easy for the opposition like we did against Chelsea.

"It is typical of the way football is that we are going into the game on the back of a mini-crisis. When we got to Wigan it was all looking quite rosy. But we have now conceded seven goals in two games after letting in only two in the whole of last month. It gets the alarm bells ringing in terms of things not being right.

"Players' confidence can turn very quickly as we saw only too clearly last season when we went on a losing run."

Allardyce has also been dealt another blow before the first game of the group stage with the Greece winger Stelios Giannakopoulos joining the club's injured list.

Giannakopoulos suffered a groin problem at Stamford Bridge and, along with Jay-Jay Okocha, Gary Speed, Ivan Campo and Nicky Hunt, will remain behind to have treatment at the club.

Allardyce is naturally concerned that so many key players are unavailable for the European game. He said: "I thought we would get injuries but not this early in the season. Gary and Jay-Jay were always going to be doubtful, then Stelios complained that his abductor muscle was troubling him.

"All the travelling may cause the injury to worsen. It is better he stays at home and is, hopefully, 100 per cent when the next game comes around."

While Bolton are enjoying their first season in Europe, Besiktas are seasoned competitors at this level. However, they are in turmoil following the departure of their coach, Riza Calimbay, on Monday.

Allardyce said: "The main problem for us now is we don't know what system they will play. Hopefully, we can cope with a full house and come away with our heads held high."

With Giannakopoulos, Speed and Okocha all missing, Kevin Nolan will have a tough job in midfield to attack and create chances. However, his impressive goals last month against Portsmouth in the Premiership and Lokomotiv Plovdiv in the Uefa Cup prove what he is capable of. Nolan will be up against the Romanian Daniel Pancu, probably Besiktas' most dangerous and penetrative midfielder. He scores goals and is relied upon to take Besiktas' penalties.

Bruno N'Gotty must try to restrain one of the most prolific strikers in Turkey and will need to use his strength on the ground in an attempt to overpower the pacy and skilful Souleymane Youla. The Guinean international, already has a hat-trick to his name in the Uefa Cup this season, in the 4-1 victory over the Swedish side Malmo. Youla produced the hat-trick after Besiktas had suffered a disappointing 1-0 defeat in the first leg.

Another key battle will be between Bolton's El Hadji Diouf, who will want to use his close control and flair to break away and put Bolton on the score sheet, and Adam Dursun.

Diouf's form has been patchy this season, and Dursun is not the type of defender a forward enduring a crisis in confidence wants to come up against. The Turk is equipped with pace and excellent man-marking ability.

Bolton Wanderers (from): Jaaskelainen, Walker, Ben Haim, Jaidi, N'Gotty, Pedersen, Nolan, Fernandes, O'Brien, Speed, Nakata, Gardner, Diouf, Davies, Borgetti, Diagne-Faye, Vaz Te, Fojut, Fadiga.

Suggested Topics
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Club legend Paul Scholes is scared United could disappear into 'the wilderness'
Life and Style
food + drink
Malky Mackay salutes the Cardiff fans after the 3-1 defeat at Liverpool on Sunday
footballFormer Cardiff boss accused of sending homophobic, racist and messages
Arts and Entertainment
Martin Amis: Taken to task over rash decisions and ill-judged statements
booksThe Zone of Interest just doesn't work, says James Runcie
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape
eBay's enduring appeal: Online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce retailer

eBay's enduring appeal

The online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce site
Culture Minister Ed Vaizey: ‘lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird’

'Lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird'

Culture Minister Ed Vaizey calls for immediate action to address the problem
Artist Olafur Eliasson's latest large-scale works are inspired by the paintings of JMW Turner

Magic circles: Artist Olafur Eliasson

Eliasson's works will go alongside a new exhibition of JMW Turner at Tate Britain. He tells Jay Merrick why the paintings of his hero are ripe for reinvention
Josephine Dickinson: 'A cochlear implant helped me to discover a new world of sound'

Josephine Dickinson: 'How I discovered a new world of sound'

After going deaf as a child, musician and poet Josephine Dickinson made do with a hearing aid for five decades. Then she had a cochlear implant - and everything changed
Greggs Google fail: Was the bakery's response to its logo mishap a stroke of marketing genius?

Greggs gives lesson in crisis management

After a mishap with their logo, high street staple Greggs went viral this week. But, as Simon Usborne discovers, their social media response was anything but half baked
Matthew McConaughey has been singing the praises of bumbags (shame he doesn't know how to wear one)

Matthew McConaughey sings the praises of bumbags

Shame he doesn't know how to wear one. Harriet Walker explains the dos and don'ts of fanny packs
7 best quadcopters and drones

Flying fun: 7 best quadcopters and drones

From state of the art devices with stabilised cameras to mini gadgets that can soar around the home, we take some flying objects for a spin
Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

The midfielder returned to the Premier League after two years last weekend. The controversial character had much to discuss after his first game back
Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

British No 1 knows his consistency as well as his fitness needs working on as he prepares for the US Open after a ‘very, very up and down’ year
Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

A descent into madness in America's heartlands

David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home