GARY MEGSON is beginning to run out of friends at Bolton Wanderers.
Having never been a popular figure amongst the club’s supporters – who were against his appointment as manager from the start – he is now at risk of alienating himself from the dressing room after launching another public attack on his players’ attitude.
Megson was left perplexed at the manner of this wretched defeat by Wolves, themselves desperately short on confidence.
Substitute Johan Elmander’s late goal, which halved the arrears, should have been the prelude to a grandstand finish but Wolves held out with relative ease, much to the annoyance of the travelling contingent from Lancashire.
It means Bolton find themselves second bottom of the table, only two points clear of Portsmouth and Megson rounded on his players for the second time in a matter of weeks.
He claimed after the derby defeat to Blackburn that one or two disaffected players were causing dressing room disharmony but later expressed his regret at going public with his remarks.
However after Jody Craddock and Nenad Milijas gave Wolves a two-goal cushion Megson again felt obliged to speak out.
“We had a really good go late on but for some reason we have players here who will play as they want to play rather than as to what is dictated,” he said.
“We did the same at Manchester United and in quite a few games where we have gone one or two goals behind before we roll our sleeves up and play as we should do.
“I don’t like criticising our players on television or in front of the papers but we have some players who are not playing like I know they can.
“Our club has got to be treated a bit better than this. When we go out there people have got to go and perform.”
Wolves went into the match on the back of a disappointing defeat by Birmingham but Craddock put them on their way to a first win in nine games by opening the scoring in the third minute.
The defender got on the end of a flick from Christophe Berra following a free-kick from the impressive Milijas.
The former Red Star Belgrade midfielder then capped a superb performance with a stunning shot from distance in the 63rd minute.
Manager Mick McCarthy was delighted at Milijas’ response after giving him a tongue-lashing during the week. “I had some harsh words with one or two of them and Nenad was one of them,” McCarthy said.
“He has been captain of Red Star and is a fabulous footballer. But I have not seen that level up until this game.
“He was terrific and his name will be inked on the team-sheet if he keeps this up.”
It was just the response McCarthy wanted from his team after losing to Birmingham. “That has been one of my toughest weeks in management and I have had one or two tough ones,” he said. “But the players are my lifeblood and we were terrific.
“Our first goal was offside but I think we deserve a bit of luck.”
REFEREE: Chris Foy (Merseyside) 6: Few complaints from either manager.
MATCH RATING: ** Had a slightly desperate feel to it, but Wolves will care only about the points.
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved