Davies setting his sights on dream of perfect 10 with Bolton
Wednesday 29 September 2010
Kevin Davies has his sights set on earning a testimonial at Bolton Wanderers. The 33-year-old is now into his eighth season at the Reebok Stadium, having moved north from Southampton in 2003 to join a side managed by Sam Allardyce.
Davies has become a cult hero at the club and when Kevin Nolan quit for Newcastle two years ago he took over the captain's armband.
His combative style may not appeal to everyone but Bolton's manager Owen Coyle has nothing but praise for the Sheffield-born player. And there is no sign of Davies' powers waning just yet and he will reach 10 years' service in 2013 to qualify for a testimonial.
"Let's hope I stay that long," Davies said. "I get a bit of stick from the lads about getting a new contract every year. But I love the club and I love the town. It has been a big part of my life for eight years. It has been a great time in my career and I have really enjoyed it."
Allardyce was lauded for the close unit he created at Bolton and the success the club enjoyed but Davies revealed he enjoys a closer relationship with Coyle than he has done with any manager he has played under.
"A day or two before he came into the job, he rang me on the Saturday and expressed what he wanted," said Davies. "He has always had a close relationship with his captain. He still trains with us now."
Coyle enjoys training because it gives him the opportunity to feed off Davies' robust talents, just as he would have loved to do during his own playing days. Unfortunately, those talents tend to be spotted more by England's top referees than the national team manager.
Despite coming close a couple of times, Davies has now abandoned any hope of pulling on an England shirt. After serving a suspension already this season following five bookings in his first six games, he is more concerned about staying out of trouble.
"I am always due to get a suspension given the way I play but this year it has come earlier than I would have liked," he said. "I have to be a little bit careful now. If I get to 10 I will miss a couple of games so I have to quieten down."
Fulham have organised a series of friendlies behind closed doors to help striker Andy Johnson get back to full fitness following his eight-month injury lay-off. Johnson returned to first-team training this week after being out since January with a knee injury which he picked up against Blackburn. The £10.5m striker underwent an operation performed by world-renowned knee surgeon Dr Richard Steadman earlier this year. His return will be a welcome boost to Hughes, who has seen his striking options reduced by injuries to Mousa Dembele and Bobby Zamora.
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