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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Nov 27, 2006

Bolton skipper targets Champions League spot

Bolton skipper Kevin Nolan believes Champions League qualification is there for the taking while Nicolas Anelka can hit the 20-goal mark this season. And Nolan's confidence counts as a clear warning to champions Chelsea that they are in for a tough time at the Reebok Stadium on Wednesday, after the way Bolton dispatched Arsenal 3-1 on Saturday - a defeat that saw Gunners boss Arsene Wenger conceding any hope of his side lifting the title.

The thought of Bolton in the Champions League may well make a few football purists wince, but Nolan believes achieving that goal for the first time in their history is only something Sam Allardyce's third-placed side can throw away now.

Nolan told the club website: 'We are the only ones who are going to let it slip now and we've got to make sure we don't.'

Having Anelka regularly in the goalscoring form he finally showed against Arsenal would certainly help Bolton's quest.

Anelka, Bolton's record signing, scored his first goals of the campaign with a tremendous double strike against one of his former clubs.

Nolan had support for Anelka, and believes his team-mates can help the Frenchman continue on the scoring trail.

He said: 'A lot of people have been getting on his back asking 'is he right for Bolton, is he the right buy?'

'People don't realise how quick this game is. Nico is a world class player and has played here before, but coming back from Fenerbahce, it was always going to take him time to settle in, to get used to the lads, to get used to the way of life again.'

Nolan added: 'He was always going to get there eventually and it showed on Saturday. He looked really well and he worked hard for the team.

'We all knew it was going to come. Now we're getting what we expect from him and we're giving him what he expects, and hopefully we can work together as a team to make sure he finishes on 15 to 20 goals this season.'

Bolton have injury problems for the visit of Jose Mourinho's men, fresh from their 1-1 draw at Manchester United.

Both Nicky Hunt (hamstring) and Quinton Fortune (ankle) picked up injuries against Arsenal that will almost certainly keep them out of Wednesday's match.

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