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Football: Poor Djorkaeff suffers culture shock in survival scrap; Southampton 0 Bolton 0.

Byline: Mike DONOVAN

WORLD CUP winner Youri Djorkaeff must have wondered what he had let himself in for on his Premiership debut.

French international Djorkaeff, signed on loan until the end of the season from Kaiserslautern, was thrown into Bolton's relegation struggle and witnessed a performance from both sides lacking skill and class.

Southampton had Rory Delap sent off for a second bookable offence two minutes from time after kicking out at Stig Tofting to crown a messy, disjointed affair.

Djorkaeff departed in the 58th minute to be replaced by former Saint Rod Wallace. His fitness was clearly lacking, largely due to limited performances for his German club this season.

But he also learned a lesson: in the Premiership you get no time to dwell on the ball.

But the midfielder showed a few flashes of magic and almost popped up with a debut goal when goalkeeper Paul Jones tipped over his header from a Simon Charlton cross. This was a rare glimpse from Djorkaeff, who was also a European Championship winner with his country.

A glorious history doesn't mean anything in the present.

And as the wind swirled around the St Mary's Stadium, the quality on show didn't fool wise heads like Alan Ball, the former Southampton manager and another World Cup winner.

Ball's verdict on offer was short and sweet: "It was shocking."

But Saints did enough to have recorded their sixth win in eight matches, particularly in the second half. They had to settle for a point but did everything but find the net. Delap tested Bolton goalkeeper Jussi Jaaskelainen early on with a 35-yarder and Svensson had a screamer from the same distance which just went wide.

The home side's cause was dealt a cruel blow after 21 minutes. They went into the match without injured James Beattie and Augustin Delgado, and a third striker Brett Ormerod nursing a knee problem on the bench.

But when leading scorer Marian Pahars did the splits in midfield and damaged has groin, Ormerod was thrown on.

Pahars' lightning pace and anticipation was sorely missed and Ormerod struggled to get to grips with the game early on.

But he found his feet and had a header from a Jason Dodd cross which cleared the bar and two half-hearted penalty appeals for fouls on him by Mike Whitlow.

The best opportunities for Saints fell to midfielder Fabrice Fernandes. Just after the interval he was set up by the outstanding Chris Marsden's cross from the left, following a superb through ball from Svensson. But Fernandes, with a clear sight of goal, fired over.

Referee Wolstenholme produced the red card for the industrious Delap as he kicked out at hardworking Tofting to cap a frustrating afternoon for the home crowd.

SOUTHAMPTON: Jones 7 - Dodd 7, Lundekvam 6, Williams 7, Bridge 7 - Fernandes 6, Delap 7, *MARSDEN 8, Svensson 6 - Tessem 6, Pahars 6 (Ormerod, 21mins, 6).

BOLTON: Jaaskelainen 6 - N'Gotty 7, Bergsson 7, Whitlow 6, Charlton 6 (Hansen, 39mins, 6) - *GARDNER 8, Tofting 7, Djorkaeff 6 (Wallace, 58mins, 6), Nolan 6 - Bobic 6 (Espartero, 79mins, 6), Ricketts 5. Ref: E Wolstenholme 6.A SCRAPPY encounter between two sides who lacked quality and showed exactly why they are in the bottom half of the table............


YOUR OUT OF LUCK: Bolton's Youri Djorkaeff fires wide; TESSUM beats Bobic
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:The People (London, England)
Date:Feb 24, 2002
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