Les: It's The Big One

Les Ferdinand says he accepts the situation if he has to be on the bench again on Saturday - but is looking forward to making a contribution one way or another in what he calls a "mammoth" game.

Les had to make do with a place on the bench against Aston Villa on Saturday as Fredi Kanoute was restored to the side, but he says there is no ill-feeling.

"You always want to start," he admits, "but Fredi has come on in the last few games and looked very sharp - as he did on Saturday when he got his goal.

"I am part of a team here and it is about that, not individuals. The manager does what he thinks is right for the team and he felt it was right for Fredi to start on the day.

"Though I was disappointed not to start, I was raring to go once I got the opportunity to get on."

Looking ahead to the Bolton game, he adds: "It is all building up and Bolton are in the same position as us. If they win they will see a little bit of light at the end of the tunnel and if we win they are dragged right back in the middle of it.

"So we have got to make sure we want it more than they do.

"It is a long week of waiting but you look forward to games like this and it is an opportunity for big players to come out and play in big games like this.

"Saturday was a big game for us and this is an even bigger game. The more games we run out of the bigger the games become.

"So this is a mammoth game for us."

Les insists the players are battling on despite only drawing with Aston Villa, and he adds: "It is hard but we have got the ability to do it. Mathematically, there are still 15 points to play for.

"We have still got to believe we are going to get out of this situation and be positive all the way.

"Earlier in the season, being where we were, we might have come off the pitch on Saturday saying it was a good point but we saw it as two points lost, and that is the way we need to see it because it shows we have got the desire to do what we need to do."

As for the penalty decision which arguably turned the game, Les says: "To be honest, when you are on the bench it is difficult to see. It looked like Tomas leaned into him but their player made a meal of it to get a penalty."

Les reckons Jermain Defoe used up all his bad luck in front of goal at the weekend and is backing him to get back on the score sheet soon.

"You don't win on chances. You have to stick them away and on another day Jermain would have got a hat trick against Villa," he says.

"He has been our saviour so many times this season but had one of those days, unfortunately, when things went over the bar and the keeper made good saves."