Diouf's Bolton quit threat 'no big deal' to Megson
El-Hadji Diouf's apparent desire to quit Bolton is 'no big deal' to manager Gary Megson as he battles to keep the club in the Barclays Premier League.
The controversial striker - whose recent performances have prompted his own team-mates to question his commitment - was quoted in the Senegalese press this week saying he will leave the club even if they survive relegation.
It was the latest show of player dissent following Abdoulaye Meite's refusal to play the second half of the recent defeat at Manchester United and Ivan Campo's petulant storm down the tunnel after being substituted against Manchester City.
And yet Megson - who takes his side to Aston Villa tomorrow - insisted: 'I spoke to Dioufy on Thursday and it's no big deal.
'You don't know what the future holds and nobody knows what's going to happen.
'Dioufy says some things - it got back to me what he said - but he's a terrific lad and a good player.
'We want to try and keep him for the rest of the season, playing as well as he is at the moment.
'I don't know if he'll still be here next season but I don't make a big deal of it because it's not a big deal.
'The big deal is that we are in the bottom three and four points adrift.
'That's important and all the stuff surrounding Abou (Meite), El-Hadji and Campo coming off the pitch with a face on him are nothing.
'But when you are in the position we're in, it becomes a big thing.
'Campo came off with a face on - and I can fully understand that - but Michael Ballack also did it that weekend and yet I didn't see one little thing about that.
'It comes to the fore when things aren't going particularly well.'
Diouf, 27, who is under contract until 2009, has scored just five goals this season and failed to provide the attacking inspiration Bolton so desperately crave.
'He's running out of steam a little bit and his stamina is letting him down,' admitted Megson.
The Trotters - who have struggled badly to score goals since Nicolas Anelka joined Chelsea in January - were alarmingly generous in defence last weekend against Arsenal.
They were 2-0 up at half-time but went on to lose 3-2, allowing their 10-man opponents back into the title race and making themselves clear favourites for relegation alongside Fulham and Derby.
Megson admitted Wanderers' second-half performance amounted to defensive suicide.
'You can forgive but you can't forget about giving away goals like we did last weekend,' he said.
'But we've got to point out the positives, we've got to tell the players what they're doing well.
'We mustn't let people who have got a vested interest in bringing the club down achieve what they want to achieve.'