Megson: Let's get physical
Bolton Wanderers manager Gary Megson acknowledges that his side need to quickly find the pace and power they will need to survive in the Barclays Premier League. The Trotters picked up their first points of the season by defeating Portsmouth 3-2 at Fratton Park.
Gary Cahill's winner after 89 minutes settled the contest, while a Tamir Cohen strike and a Matthew Taylor penalty in the first 45 minutes had set the visitors on their way. While Megson was pleased with the chances his side crafted, he feels Bolton have plenty of room for improvement. And he believes the likes of Mark Davies and Cohen, who both joined the Trotters during the January transfer window, have work to do to become a success in the Premier League.
He said: "One of the things we've got to get better at is not the fitness, but the physique of the players. Mark Davies is as talented a player as you will see on that pitch, but he has to improve the physical side of his game.
"He's not six-foot four and that's not his fault. He is a young lad, but in terms of his running power, he has got to get better.
"Tamir has a knack of scoring goals and arriving at the right time, but again he has to get up to the pace of English football so he can stay on all the time."
Megson also believes there is more to come from Cahill. He said: "He has that quality about him. He's not just a good defender and a good centre-half.
"We have to start expecting more from him and he's got to deliver because he has got that quality. I'm pleased he got that goal because his performance was very good," said Megson.
Pompey seeking points
Portsmouth manager Paul Hart acknowledges that his side must start taking their chances if they are to crawl their way off the bottom of the table. The likes of Frederic Piquionne and Younes Kaboul missed a hatful of opportunities and consequently Portsmouth are still seeking their first points of the season. But Hart believes his side have what it takes to turn the corner.
He said: "Although I thought we caused our own downfall, I thought we worked tremendously hard and showed a lot of ability. If we had scored the chances we spurned, it could have been a different story. We have to take our chances and we have to cut out our mistakes."
One major positive for the home side was an impressive debut from Jamie O'Hara, on loan from Tottenham Hotspur. The midfielder's corner teed up Kaboul for the opening goal and it was the rebound from his shot which allowed fellow newcomer Kevin-Prince Boateng to net the second.
That was more than enough to convince Hart that O'Hara could play a crucial role in the club's fight for survival. He said: "I thought Jamie was excellent. He's a great player.
"He hasn't had a lot of games this season and just got tired in the last 10 or 20 minutes. But I think he has got an awful lot of ability and craft. He's going to be a big player for us."