Monday, October 31, 2011

Coyle looks for Bolton positives

A tough opening set of fixtures was always going to afford Owen Coyle some leeway in this early stage of the season, but after defeats to two of the newly promoted sides as well as struggling Sunderland, their poor start is threatening to turn into something terminal.

Eight defeats from ten games has left the Trotters second from bottom, mercilessly kept off the foot by Lancashire neighbours Wigan.

But what is worrying Trotters fans the most is the manner of their performances so far. They knew anything they took from games against the Man Utds and Chelseas of this World would be a bonus. But they were swept away with worrying ease, justifying their status among the favourites in the relegation betting.

Their 24 goals conceded is comfortably the worst in the division and an alarming trend Coyle is desperate to halt if he is to get his side’s season back on track.

The Scot was certainly fighting after Bolton’s latest loss, this time away at Swansea, calling on his players to stand up and be counted.

"People forget that when I came into the job we were second from bottom," said Coyle after watching his 10 men slip to a 2-1 defeat at the Liberty Stadium. "We addressed that with plenty in hand. Without looking for excuses, we have some top players out with injury, but we have players who are good enough to win games. You take your medicine and go from there, show your character.

"We need players who when they cross that white line believe in themselves and show their ability," Coyle added. "I have to be fair to them, I think in the most part they did that, but when the sending-off comes about you still have to retain that organisation, that belief."

Despite Coyle’s words, those who bet on relegation are still backing his side to struggle this season and to find themselves in the Championship next term.

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