Ex-Liverpool’s MJ Williams on first Bolton goal vs Sheffield Wednesday & Manchester City prediction

MJ Williams admitted he did not know what to do when it came to celebrating when the ball hit the back of the net for his first Bolton Wanderers goal against Sheffield Wednesday but was happy to finally break his goalscoring duck.

Williams has played more than 60 times for Wanderers without scoring since joining the club last January, but that changed against the Owls.

Wanderers went behind after the break when the Owls took the lead through Harlee Dean’s header from Barry Bannan’s corner came off the post and Jordan Storey was on hand to tap home.

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But Bolton equalized before full-time when Aaron Morley’s corner was only half cleared and Williams fired home through a crowded penalty area to ensure Wanderers would get a share of the spoils in a 1-1 draw.

Holding midfielder Williams admits he was unsure how to celebrate when it did go in, but was pleased it did at long last and that Wanderers played well at times against the Owls, as he praised Wednesday duo Massimo Luongo and Barry Bannan.

He said: “I was shocked it fell to me but I kept a cool head. You could probably see by the celebration that I didn’t know what to do. I was made up.

“It was a long time coming but I am delighted it did.

“I think the stats show we are one of the best at scoring in the last 15 minutes but I think that is down to how we play. Sometimes we keep the ball so well it can pull teams out and the spaces start to open up.

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“We want the first goal because you can go on and win the game comfortably but there’s desire in this team and we are all together. It shows there.

“I always say to myself that once I had scored the first one I will go and score a few more but I am just happy it went in. I do like to be defensive and don’t find myself in the box that often but the gaffer is giving me the confidence to get forward more.

“We tried to create a little box in midfield to counter their threats on the break because they have some great players going forward but I thought we dealt with it well.

“I got some stick for the celebration more than anything but I felt like we could go and win the game, really. Baka (Amadou Bakayoko) had come on, he’s a massive handful, Dion (Charles) and Kacha (Elias Kachunga) can run in behind, we could have won it in the end.

“They have some brilliant midfielders. Luongo I thought was brilliant, Bannan has played at a high level but you have to compete against them if you want to get to the top.

“At times they controlled the game but we did have spells as well and played some good stuff.”

Wanderers have taken three points from their last three games against the Owls, Portsmouth and Wigan Athletic, a trio of outfits who are either seeking automatic promotion or have aspirations of reaching the play-offs.

Williams feels Bolton have learned a lot in these encounters and the importance and starting well and scoring the first goal, especially at home and the impact the Wanderers faithful can have.

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He said: “We have learned a lot in the last three games. We need to start games better and even today they were on top for the first 15 minutes or so. They have got some good players but when we got hold of the ball we started to feel comfortable in the game.

“The first goal is massive in these games and if we can get that it is massive. Games like the Sunderland one – if we get it, teams don’t know what to do.

“We have some great fans and when they are on top, it is a scary place to come.”

Williams came through the youth team ranks at Liverpool and is a fan of the club, along with fellow Wanderers midfielder Andrew Tutte.

The duo will have a keen eye on today’s clash against Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium, a game which could have a big say in the destination of the Premier League title.

And Williams is predicting a win for Jurgen Klopp’s side to top of the weekend for him on a personal note.

He added: “Me and Tuttey are ready for it. I do fancy it. I think we’ll go there and win it – and that would really top the weekend off, wouldn’t it?”


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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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