Here at the Lion of Vienna Suite, we're always looking to bring you original Bolton Wanderers-related content that you won't see anywhere else. We asked Bolton Wanderers legend Super John McGinlay if he would like to do a quick interview for this here little blog and he graciously agreed to chat with me on the phone.
Bolton's tough start to the season hasn't inspired confidence or happiness in the fans so we thought that it would be best to try and cheer you lot up a bit. Super John was incredibly nice in talking to us and assured us that the confidence would be back sooner rather than later as well as that he'd like to suit up against Wigan. That's just a tiny taste though, hit the jump for the full intervie.Lion of VIenna Suite (LVS): Given the tough start to the season thanks to what the schedule makers over at the FA have handed Bolton, the players are (understandably) low on confidence. What would you do to rebuild the squad's belief in themselves?
John McGinlay (JM): What's going to rebuild it is a result, a good result. I think it's tough to work in things as well because this next week a lot of the players are away on international duty so you lose them and you're not getting the whole squad together to build confidence and that makes it difficult. Overall the biggest thing we need is a result. That's going to get everyone going. That's going to get the fans to breathe a bit more easily. Again we just need some points on the board, quick.
(LVS): We get the impression that Owen Coyle is a fantastic motivator and it can be seen whenever the team comes out from the halftime break. What was he like as a player when you two played together at Bolton?
(JM): Exactly the same. It doesnt matter what you were playing, he was so competitive, he had to win. He's a winner, that's just him. He's a winner and a great man motivator. There's no way he's ever going to come second best because that's just in him and he's got that fire in his belly and it rubs off on people. Every day he walks onto that training ground, he's enthusiastic. He's a manager you'd like to play for. I'd like to play for him, that's for sure.
(LVS): Speaking of managing Bolton Wanderers, if given the opportunity, would you consider a coaching role at Bolton and where would you like to fit in?
(JM): I don't think that's something you could say because obviously there are people in those positions at the club and that's a little bit of disrespect to say you'd take somebody else's job whilst they're still there. It's been spoken about a few times and you know, I think time is going to be right as well. You've got a fantastic staff on there but you look at the other side of that it's my club and always will be. I've always been in the mind if that I can help them, I will help them. That's the way it is.
(LVS): Your football career has been long and illustrious. In that time, you've played under quite a few managers. Which one has had the greatest influence on you as a player, coach, and a person?
(JM): I think as a manager, it was Bruce Rioch that always made big changes to me. He made me realize a lot of things both personally and in the game. I think that's the person. Ian McNeill, he was the one that signed me for Shrewsbury and he was the one to give me my initial break, if you want to call it that.
(LVS): As a Bolton blog run by two Americans (we're rare, we know), we have an interest in seeing more Yanks in the Premier League. Stuart Holden has proven that Americans are getting better and can handle themselves in England. Do you ever scout talent in the States to recommend to the academy?
(JM): A lot of people don't realize the red tape that goes into bring a young or even an older player into the country. There's a lot of strife and visa regulations and work permits and all that. You have to hit certain criteria and young players don't meet that criteria. The older players have to have played I think 75% of the international games over the last over the last two years to qualify for a work permit or something like that. The kids, youth players, they really would need to have some sort of family in Europe. Relations, uncles, aunties, moms and dads, whatever it is before they would be elligible. If they have a European passport, that's fine. If not, it's very, very difficult. The club have looked into it and if it was as easy that, I could have planeloads of kids go over there because the talent is that good in this country. I could have loads of kids go over there if they met the criteria. It's improving every year. Not just at my club (Cincinnati United) but the game in general. The MLS is getting better as well, everyone's getting better. The facilities are fantastic. That's why Bolton come out here at pre-season because they know what they are going to get. The food is similar to home and the facilities are great. They've always had a good time out here
(LVS): Care to tell us about any good practical jokes in the Bolton locker room?
(JM): Oh loads. They happen every day. From the shirt getting nailed to the floor to your shirt getting cut up, I mean you name it. It was something different every day. You had to have eyes in the back of your head at all times. It's the same. The guys in there now all get on well together and there's a great atmosphere at the club. If it happens to you it's not that nice at the time but you laugh about them. It just is what it is and you get on with it. It's an ongoing thing and if someone did something to you, you retaliate and it keeps going and going and going. They're like big kids to be honest with you, they haven't grown up.
(LVS): We really want to thank you for taking the time to talk to us today but before we let you go, a few of the fans on Twitter want to know if you're available on October 15. Fancy putting on that white shirt again?
(JM): Ha, I wish! Yeah, I wish. You know what I think? I think at this moment in time we need to support and to stick with the team and to back the team. They need a lift. They're down. When players are down the supporters have got to realize that they have a big part to play in it as well. When we start off the Wigan game and if we get an early goal, obviously that lifts everybody. The supporters have to realize that the players are a little bit down and down on confidence, the difference they can make is fantastic just by backing them. We're all supporters, we all support the club, we all support the team and it's something that we've signed up to do for the rest of our lives. It should be true through thick and thin, not just when times are going well and when we get results. This is when we need them. They're going to make a big difference in the next month or so when we get back into the position that we need to be, a more comfortable position in the league.
(LVS): One more question, do you have a prediction for the Wigan game?
(JM): Yeah, we'll win. I don't really care how we win but we've got to that stage where we'd love to go out and play the beautiful game with the passing and moving and everything goes well but we've gone past that. It's a matter of going and getting points on the board and getting the win. That's the game. I genuinely think we'll get the win. We've been on a poor run and Wigan have been on a poor run and something has got to give. I'm quite confident we'll get the win.