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By ESPN Staff
Nov 22, 2007

Megson blasts at Domenech over Anelka

Bolton manager Gary Megson has defended the club after being accused by France coach Raymond Domenech of exaggerating the extent of Nicolas Anelka's injury. Megson is hopeful his star striker will be fit to return in tomorrow's clash at home to Manchester United after coming back unscathed from international duty, during which Domenech made some inflammatory comments about Wanderers. Anelka has missed Bolton's last four games and was expected to be out for six weeks after suffering a torn hamstring against Aston Villa on October 28. But he was called up by France for a friendly against Morocco and a Euro 2008 qualifier against Ukraine, and Bolton were forced to release their top scorer so that he could be assessed by the French camp. Megson hoped they would return Anelka, saying it would be 'a nightmare' if he played, although Domenech felt he was fit enough to make a substitute appearance in last Friday's 2-2 draw against Morocco. While Domenech then claimed Bolton exaggerated Anelka's condition, Megson insisted he was merely following medical advice. 'I would never even go near questioning the integrity of medical personnel,' he said. 'Our doctor sent over the scans and gave his opinion on the situation with Nicolas. 'The French coach has had his say and I'm aware that he played 28 minutes for them, but he's come back fit and well so there's not an issue now. 'He's played that 28 minutes but he's been travelling around Europe, so we'll see how he is and I'm hopeful he'll be out there on Saturday.' Anelka also travelled to Kiev for Les Bleus' final qualifier on Wednesday, although Megson's concerns were eased by the fact Domenech left him out of the 2-2 draw. Megson accepts the return of his seven-goal striker against the defending champions would be a big boost, although he hailed the work of Kevin Davies in Anelka's absence. The unsung striker led the line well and scored the goal which gave Bolton a memorable 2-2 draw at Bayern Munich in the UEFA Cup. 'It's important to have Nic back any weekend, but whilst he's been out Kevin Davies has been up there and done very well for us,' said Megson. 'We end up talking about Nic all the time and that's understandable because he's a quality player, but we've got some other very good players here too.' Megson's attacking options will also be bolstered by the availability of El-Hadji Diouf following a one-match ban. The Bolton boss will go in search of his first win since taking charge at the Reebok Stadium last month and has no major injury concerns from the international duty. 'All you can do is cross your fingers and hope that everybody comes back fit and well, and this time we've been fortunate,' he said. 'We've got to try to come up with something that will cause United problems but also nullify their strengths. 'A lot have tried that and a lot have failed because it's a difficult job, but that's the task that faces us and we'll be giving it our best shot.'