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Europa League round of 16 draw

Europa League
By ESPN Staff

Megson blasts "pathetic" Bolton supporters

Furious Bolton boss Gary Megson has slammed the club's supporters as "pathetic'', questioned their intelligence and accused them of creating a hostile atmosphere.

Megson was subjected to personal abuse from the Wanderers fans in the wake of the 2-2 draw at local rivals Blackburn.

Rovers, under the guidance of former Bolton manager Sam Allardyce, snatched a point despite trailing 2-0 after 65 minutes.

After Stephen Warnock pulled one back, Benni McCarthy then made amends for missing a 70th-minute penalty by tapping home the equaliser just three minutes from time.

That sparked a large number of Bolton fans to turn on Megson, who has struggled for acceptance since his arrival 15 months ago.

Now, in an attack that is certain to heighten the tension between manager and supporters, Megson feels the boo-boys are undermining his and the players' bid for Barclays Premier League survival.

"The reaction to myself is absolutely astounding. I am disappointed in it,'' replied Megson when questioned about the fans' taunts. "The supporters at this club have made their feelings known about myself from day one.

"They are well-documented and regularly made apparent. They have been made very obvious in terms of what they said - it's a load of nonsense. My feelings about them need to stay private.

"But each time it's not gone well for us they do it again. The players dislike it and I dislike it. When the fans are slaughtering me and saying what they are saying, it reflects on what the players are doing.

"So they have their thoughts on it too. It makes the players angry, but we've had to cope with it for a long time.''

Megson knows the fans have never taken to him - and some never will.

"I wouldn't say they are fickle because I've had it from day one - most managers get a honeymoon period,'' added Megson in The Bolton News.

"Look at Sam [Allardyce]. He's not been there long, but they were 2-0 down at half-time and hadn't even come close to our goal, but there's no kind of reaction like that.

"I've had to cope with it for a long time. I don't like it, I think it's pathetic, and I really believe it is having an adverse effect on the team's performance.

"A lot of teams can be viewed as a few points off the top few, but also in relegation trouble - of which we're one. There are clubs who are down there who have spent £70-£90million, but are below us. I don't hear the same reaction from their fans.

"You have to wonder about the intelligence of these people - it has to be heard to be believed to be honest. As a football club and as a dressing room, we have to try to keep that negativity away from what we need to try and do.

"And will I ever win them over? No, no chance.''

Megson, though, insists his record since he arrived stands up to scrutiny, adding: "I took this club further than it's ever been in Europe. I kept them up after having five points from 10 games, I've taken the wage bill down.

"I haven't spent a lot of money in doing that. I think it works out at £2.5million. Others have spent around £90million. But if your face doesn't fit, it doesn't fit. You have to accept that.

"The players, myself and my coaching staff accept it. We are as one. We have to get on with it. If people think that's helpful, that's up to them. I'm sure we can't do anything about it.

"We're having to cope with this atmosphere which is hostile and very, very difficult for everyone.''


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