Megson hoping hard work can save struggling Bolton

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The Independent Football

Gary Megson is determined to win over Bolton Wanderers' supporters after declaring that honesty and a willing work ethic will turn the club around.

The former Leicester City manager will take charge of the team for the first time against Aston Villa tomorrow. He got a taste of what to expect from the fans before the Uefa Cup match with Braga on Thursday night, which ended in a 1-1 draw.

Megson went outside the stadium before the match to talk to some of those angered at his appointment. He said: "I thought I would have a chat and see what's what. So I spoke to a few supporters.

"I am not Alex Ferguson, I am not Jose Mourinho. The red carpet is not going to be rolled out straight away. But I would like to think I have heart, desire and enthusiasm. I went out to tell them all of those things. I am honest, I work hard and give it everything I have got. I say what I think and that can upset people."

Chairman Phil Gartside is unswerving in his belief that he has found the right man to take Bolton forward. He said: "We are bottom of the League. If you are in the bottom half at any stage it is a tough battle, it is a hard league to play in. We've got to work hard to get out of it. We chose Gary on the basis of his credentials. A lot of people in football understand this appointment and I am happy with that."

Gartside understands that criticism may come his way but he is prepared to stand by the decisions the club have made.

"It is part of football," he said. "It is very fickle and sometimes if you are not winning you get criticism and I am happy to take it. It is not just my decision. We have a board of directors and we came to a joint conclusion we had to make a change."

Megson is proud of his record as a manager even though former European Cup winners Nottingham Forest were relegated to the third tier for the first time under his stewardship.

"I want to prove myself everywhere I go," he said. "My record, although never in the upper echelons of the Premier League, has been at some very good clubs. All of them are better than when I joined and that includes Forest. As for this being my last chance, I was asked the same question at Leicester. But you never know what is around the corner."

Megson believes the squad is good enough to get Bolton away from the foot of the table – even though they have claimed only five points from 10 games. He said: "I have met the players and there is a quiet determination to get us out of this. Maybe we have not been getting the results we should have with the quality that is available here."

Megson has confirmed that Archie Knox will remain on the coaching staff, adding: "I do not want to make massive changes, certainly not straight away."

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