Allardyce calls for ice baths and cools heads in cup tie

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The Independent Online

Bolton Wanderers return to Cup action with the manager Sam Allardyce claiming his players can benefit from the cold snap by taking ice baths. The squad took to the water just hours after the defeat by Fulham at Craven Cottage instead of relaxing at home.

Allardyce said: "They needed what I would call active rest. It is all about recovering the players as best as we possibly could. The players are shoved in ice baths, then hot water and the process continues like that. It's what a player has to go through today. If you can last two minutes in the ice baths, I will pay you myself! But they accept it as part of their recovery now. It is not very pleasant."

Allardyce is looking for his team to get back on track today at the Reebok Stadium when they entertain the Championship side Leicester in the fourth round of the Carling Cup. He wants his side to tighten up at the back and also spread the goals around, after losing 2-1 at Fulham on Sunday.

"We let ourselves down from the defensive point of view on two occasions, which cost us two goals," Allardyce said. "That was too big to recover from. We need to defend better and also stick the ball in the back of the net more often.

"If I have fear about anything at the moment it is that all our goalscoring players, apart from Kevin Nolan, are down on their ratio. Far too many of our top-end players are not producing enough goals. We openly accept we have not got a 20-goal-a-year man but we need those who get five or six to get seven or eight."

The Senegal striker El-Hadji Diouf will miss the match after being sent off at Fulham. The Greece winger Stelios Giannakopoulos could return to the team, while Nicky Hunt (broken leg) and Henrik Pedersen (Achilles) are both approaching full fitness after injury and might be given a run-out.

Allardyce expects Leicester to raise their game and is well aware they overcame promotion hopefuls Sheffield United at the weekend. He said: "I will accept a 1-0 win right now. Anything more will be an absolute delight. I would be just glad to get through this round anyway. The Leicester players will play above themselves because they are meeting a Premiership club that is doing very well."

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