Megson backs Cahill for England
Gary Megson believes Bolton Wanderers central defender Gary Cahill "will be ready for the [FIFA] World Cup" if chosen for next summer's finals by Fabio Capello. Cahill turned in another impressive performance in front of Capello during Bolton's 2-1 success over Birmingham City at St. Andrews on Saturday in their second successive away win.
Cahill was part of the England squad for the recent double header with Slovenia and Croatia at Wembley. And Megson feels the defender has made big strides forward since deciding to quit Aston Villa and move to the Reebok Stadium in a £5m deal during the January 2008 transfer window.
He said: "Gary is ready in terms of England. I said that six months ago, probably longer than that. He is ready for the [FIFA] World Cup if called upon. All he can do is keep putting in good performances.
"It was great from Gary's point of view that Fabio turned up at Birmingham because he now knows if he keeps putting in performances, the England manager will come along, regardless of whom we are playing.
"I really do think when Gary gets his opportunity [with England], he won't come out," said Megson. "He does have to accept he has got two world class centre-halfs [John Terry and Rio Ferdinand] in front of him, but he can't do much other than he is doing now."
Tamir Cohen's third goal of the campaign gave Bolton the lead and, after Kevin Phillips had equalised, South Korean international Chung-Yong Lee grabbed a last gap winner for the Trotters. But record signing Johan Elmander, had to be content with a place on the substitute's bench, with Megson demanding more input from the former Toulouse striker.
Megson said: "Johan is part of the squad, but he needs to accept like everyone else that he has got to deliver. It doesn't matter to me how much he cost, where he came from, reputation. He has to deliver. He has got to start doing more. He has got a great touch, great awareness, but he has got to start doing a lot more for us.
"We know what we are getting with Kevin Davies. We know his quality in the air, the size, power and pace of him and, most of all, the work-rate that Kevin puts in," he said.
"It doesn't matter to me whether Johan is an international player from Sweden, or whether they have cost a lot of money, or whether they are young players who have cost nothing."
Blues manager Alex McLeish bemoaned his side's poor defending at set pieces for both of the Bolton goals. But he took heart from the reaction from his players in the dressing room after the final whistle.
He said: "A few of the players let rip in the dressing room, the ones with the voices, and I quite enjoyed that. It saved me raising my voice. They got stuck into each other because they switched off. I think some of our players lost a bit of concentration and we became a bit trance-like.
"I think the input is important. Of course, they must get on, but they don't all have to be best pals and it is important people show leadership.
"If we accept every week that is going to happen, we will just come in the dressing room and say nothing, then we are going to be where we are, or even worse."
McLeish added: "It was disappointing that we switched off at such a crucial time. These are the harsh lessons the players are suffering just now in the Premier League.
"We lost the first goal from a set piece which, believe me, we try and practice against on the training ground. But it is nothing like the real thing and we didn't deal with it and were punished again," he said.
"Then again we didn't follow in for the second goal after the free-kick had hit the post."