Diouf Gives Bolton The Perfect Payback

Last updated : 17 January 2005 By Mark Heys
Saturday's man of the match El-Hadji Diouf feels that he is starting to repay Bolton's faith in him by producing a string of fine performances.

The Senegalese international played a starring role during Wanderers 1-0 win over Premiership champions Arsenal at the weekend, and was extremely instrumental in setting up his team mate Stelios Giannakopoulos for the only goal of the game.

"I love football and I enjoy it when I play well. I'm happy to play well for Bolton because they are a very friendly team. The manager and the players have helped me a lot. " he told the Manchester Evening News

"The manager has shown a lot of faith and a lot of confidence in me. When someone shows confidence in you, then every time you give it back. That is my philosophy.

The 24-year old has shrugged off suggestions that he is a "bad boy" and merely states that his sometimes contraversial image is all down to him wanting to go all out to win a game of football.

"When I came to Bolton everyone was asking why I'd gone there and were saying that it was because I am a bad boy. But I am not a bad boy. I don't like to lose matches and I love to win. But does that make me bad? I have a nice heart and just want to play my football."

Diouf is enjoying the switch to a more central role in the absence of Kevin Davies and he says that the main striker role is his most effective position despite the fact that he used to be played on the right hand side of midfield when at Liverpool.

"Before I joined Liverpool I played at the front and that's where I like to be. They made me play down the right or in midfield. I am happy to play where I'm wanted for the team but I think my best position is at the front. Everyone here at Bolton is playing for the team. It is better here because everyone in the changing room is together. That is very important."

The former Lens star beleives that the victory against Arsene Wenger's team will give the side more confidence as they approach the final third of the season.

"I am just happy that I could help us to win against a top club like Arsenal. It will make us more confident for the rest of the season."