Belfast Telegraph

Bolton struggles have led to tough season: Magennis

 

High point: Josh Magennis celebrates after hitting the winner in Northern Ireland’s victory over Belarus
High point: Josh Magennis celebrates after hitting the winner in Northern Ireland’s victory over Belarus

By Steven Beacom

Northern Ireland hero Josh Magennis has lifted the lid on not getting paid on time at Bolton Wanderers and what it's like being a player at the crisis club right now.

In the latest development yesterday, the chairman of the struggling Championship outfit Ken Anderson stated that he did not believe Bolton would need to appoint an administrator before the club returned to the High Court on April 3.

Anderson's comments come after last Wednesday's hearing when a winding up order was brought against the club by HMRC over unpaid debt. Bolton were given a stay of execution while they try to find new owners who are prepared to fund day-to-day running costs.

That includes the wages of staff and players, who earlier in the season were not paid when they were supposed to be.

Magennis put the club problems behind him to play a starring role on Sunday night for his country, coming off the bench to score an 87th-minute winner as Northern Ireland defeated Belarus 2-1 in a Euro 2020 qualifier. The Bangor man's goal took Michael O'Neill's side top of the Group C table.

"It's obviously tough when you don't get paid on time," said Magennis.

"It's easy to say just get on with the game, but even though we play football and professional footballers have a job to do, it's hard not to get distracted by what happens off the field, especially when you don't get paid.

"A lot of lads are in different positions. We just don't know the ins and outs. The team have done the best we can.

"There haven't been any in-house arguments. We just come to work, get our heads down and listen to what the gaffer has to say, and try to get the result on Saturday or Tuesday. Unfortunately it hasn't been the case, but when I go back that will be the full focus."

Bolton are second bottom in the Championship and staring relegation in the face. Magennis revealed that international boss O'Neill has been in constant contact throughout a testing season.

"Yeah, it's been a tough season from a club standpoint. I've had a lot of learning curves but the manager at Bolton (Phil Parkinson) and the coaching staff and the players at Bolton have been first class. They've really helped me try to progress my game.

"Michael is always on the phone to me. We speak on a regular basis. I've just got to go back and finish the rest of the season, and avoid the worst case scenario which would be getting relegated.

"It's obviously fantastic playing for your country. I wouldn't say a blessed relief, it's just the fact you've got different scenery.

"You can come away and look at it from a different perspective, which I've been able to do. Training here day in, day out without the stuff on or off the pitch gives you a lot to think about.

"Not being disrespectful but I haven't really been thinking about Bolton. I'll be thinking about it when I'm travelling home and when I get there it will be professionalism as ever from me and the rest of the lads."

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