Back four win the game

Last updated : 23 January 2003 By Martyn Elliott

"I'm not displeased. I think we've won a very difficult game. The expectancy of the crowd naturally was for a 4-0 or a 5-0 win, that's what they thought.

"I didn't think that because I know I'm playing in the Premiership where anything can happen.

"Teams at the bottom are fighting hard and they've given us a very difficult game. You have to give credit to Bolton for a very strong fighting performance.

"They've given us as hard a match as we've had all season, and I mean that quite sincerely, so you've got to give Bolton some plaudits.

"I think you have to give our defence, who have been subject to a lot of criticism this season, credit for some sterling work.

"They haven't scored, which means we've won 1-0, and they deserve a lot of credit. I think our back four have won us the match.

"One goal had won it, but had Bolton scored at some stage, would we have got the second goal to have won it?

"It was a tight game and we didn't make any mistakes at the back. Nobody made a mistake, so our defence has done very well. Today, our defence has helped us to win this match, not our front players."

Sam Allardyce

"Unfortunately, as always, away-from-home controversial decisions - and it is a controversial decision on two occasions with Henrik Pedersen and Bernard Mendy - have cost us.

"I thought they were penalties at the time, I've looked at them both since the end of the game and I'm convinced that they're both penalties.

"The Newcastle players have blocked our player from a clear opportunity of scoring a goal, not played the ball on either occasion, and the referee, unfortunately for us, has waved play-on.

"I have to say that is not unusual playing away from home. It's the old, old story from me, but it's not just Bolton Wanderers, it will probably be West Brom, Birmingham and all them.

"It's unfortunately something that I can't live with, but it looks like I'm going to have to."