Diouf told to button it

By Derek DavisChief Football WriterBOLTON striker El-Hadji Diouf has been told to 'shut his mouth or tape it up' by a team-mate ahead of tomorrow's FA Cup clash at Ipswich Town.

By Derek Davis

Chief Football Writer

BOLTON striker El-Hadji Diouf has been told to 'shut his mouth or tape it up' by a team-mate ahead of tomorrow's FA Cup clash at Ipswich Town.

The Senegal international has been involved in spitting rows this season and picked up a stupid booking for dissent, when refusing to retreat the required 10 yards at a Birmingham free-kick, in Bolton's 2-1 win at St Andrews in midweek.

Diouf's antics have frustrated his Trotters' team-mates but he will be a massive threat to the Blues' defence at Portman Road.

Now Kevin Nolan has echoed the sentiments of the dressing room, and Bolton fans.

Most Read

Nolan said: "Diouf has been superb since he came back for us. I just wish he'd shut his mouth and just get on with playing with the ball. I've told him and he seems to be listening a bit more.

"He is a superb lad, don't get me wrong, but sometimes it is frustrating because he tries to get involved in stupid things when he should let his football do the talking.

"You can see he has got a lot of skill about him by the way he tormented the Birmingham defence.

"He was fantastic, but if he can just keep his mouth shut, maybe tape it up before the game, he'll be great for us this season. I certainly enjoy playing with him."

Although striker Kevin Davies has recovered from injury and will be in the Bolton squad, boss Sam Allardyce has been looking to boost his squad.

He has conceded that Russian target Dimitri Bulykin could be out of his reach now that he has started talks with Crystal Palace and, although there had been no direct approach to Town for Shefki Kuqi earlier this week, Wanderers are known to be keen on the Finnish striker.

Kuqi's Finland international team-mate Jussi Jaaskelainen has admitted being dropped for the New Year's Day game against West Brom shocked him and he is expected to be rested against Town.

The 29-year-old said: "You never know what will happen in football. I just had to accept the manager's decision and get on with it.

"It is about what is best for the club and not what is best for me."

Wanderers arrive at Portman Road after the win against Birmingham ended a run where they picked up just three points from a possible 30.

Nolan warned Town that the win had lifted the side and hailed the team's character.

He said: "It is not nice to be coming in each week and losing and you are slipping further and further down the table.

"But the character and the people we've got in the side meant we managed to stay upbeat and stay together.

"No disrespect, at a lot of clubs you would have seen players not wanting to play and feigning injuries, but we've stuck together through this bad time.

Wanderers are expected to make a number of changes from the side which won at St Andrews on Tuesday.

n Meanwhile, Town are planning to put up a huge television screen inside Portman Road if and when they reach the Premiership. Blues chief executive Derek Bowden last night revealed the club had shelved plans to put one up before then, with all spare cash earmarked for Joe Royle's playing squad.

Bowden said: "We have been considering putting a large screen in the south-west corner of the stadium for some time but, even though we would be able to get one through one of our directors' companies, it would cost a six figure sum to put it up.

"We thought it would be better for Joe to use that money this season and wait and see if we in the Premier League next season and then look at erecting one."

The Blues have been at the forefront of a pilot scheme which has now been finalised between Sports TV and the Football League to bring programmes about individual clubs to fans in grounds.

A five-year agreement has been signed making Sports TV the official supplier of In-Stadia Television Programmes to The Football League and will result in five-hour club specific TV programmes being screened in stadia across the country every week.

The new deal will allow all clubs, including Ipswich, the chance to show the full 90 minutes of their previous away game before each home match.

Bowden said: "We have already changed televisions in bars such as the Legend Bar to plasma but it is not viable just yet to do the same in the concourses.

"We have been used as a guinea pigs for this scheme which has been successful, hopefully many other clubs will be able to use Sport TV soon.

"It won't make us rich but it is a few thousand pound extra which is useful."

It is anticipated that the scheme will also be operational in Leagues One and Two by the end of 2005. Colchester United and Cambridge United are among lower league clubs who will be given the opportunity to offer the service to its supporters.

The programmes will be screened in concourses and hospitality areas before kick-off, at half-time and at the end of games.

Sports TV have already supplied Town with cutting edge technology, such as plasma screens and wide screen televisions and the agreement will see extra revenue generated from the sale of on-screen advertising.

Sir Brian Mawhinney, Football League Chairman said: "This is an excellent agreement for supporters and our member clubs made possible by our major re-branding exercise.

"Supporters will see exclusive programming while clubs will receive additional revenue. It is a win-win situation."

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter