Whatever Gary Megson says now is almost beside the point. The tension that has been simmering in the stands of the Reebok for months now has long since spilled onto the pitch and has been affecting the team performances at home, but Megson has always managed to keep a lid on it and make it appear as if the team is still behind him. Now, for the first time, the mask might be slipping.
Even if the story that was featured is the News of the World was "crap" as Gary would have it, it's another indication that something inside the football club is rotten, the first suggestion being Bolton's current position in the table.
19th position, one home win and zero clean sheets is a pretty clear indicator that this team isn't playing well. The image that Megson is trying to put in our heads – of him and Jlloyd scratching their heads together at half time – is at odds with the growing alarm that exists outside the dressing room. If ever there was a time for stern words and a hushed-up confrontation, it's probably now.
I'm not sure that Megson can find much comfort in the vote of confidence he received before the City game from Phil Gartside: "When Gary was appointed I got a bloke who I wanted, and who could do what I wanted him to do." Statements like that are hardly going to make the fans more confident in Megson (or Gartside).
"None of us are stupid," Gartside assures us, but I wonder if he's done all his sums? If Bolton have no money to spend in January, as Gary Megson has already claimed, then the club certainly cannot afford to be relegated. Gartside might be right when he says it's too early to panic, but you have to think that Megson has to produce some points from the (relatively comfortable) Christmas games, otherwise some changes might finally be coming in the new year.