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Speed defends roughhouse Bolton

Bolton are causing shock waves again because they have gone back to their roots, according to Gary Speed.

Strikers Kevin Davies and El-Hadji Diouf have come in for criticism in recent weeks because of their apparently abrasive methods.

Davies had a running battle with Patrice Evra in the splendid home victory against Manchester United.

Then Diouf was roundly condemned for a challenge on Alvaro Arbeloa in the 4-0 defeat by Liverpool on Sunday.

Speed said: "This has come about because we have beaten Manchester United.

"Hopefully in the future we will be seen to be over-physical because we are winning games."

Speed is adamant Bolton have not stepped over the line.

"The referee is there to sort things out," he said.

"So if we are over the top he will sort it out.

"Davies made one tackle against Manchester United - that was it. But it was the fact we won the game there were issues afterwards."

Manager Gary Megson said: "What I sincerely hope does not happen is that all this stuff about Diouf and Davies that people do not start believing we are an over-physical team."

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Tribal Football Staff

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