Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 2 October 2014

Coyle clamps down

Owen Coyle

Bolton manager Owen Coyle has had to get tough with his underperforming team but his methods already appear to be working.

The Wanderers boss left the likes of Gretar Steinsson and Fabrice Muamba out of his squad for last weekend's match at Wigan, with Zat Knight relegated to the bench. However, it appears to have had the desired effect as Bolton won 3-1, ending a run of six successive defeats and moving off the bottom of the Barclays Premier League.

"I don't put them out of the team; their performances put them out of the team," Coyle said of his changes in the Bolton News. "If they don't get to the standard I have got to recognise there is someone else waiting in the wings."

He added: "There weren't enough players playing to the top of their ability to say: 'I am in charge of that jersey'. It's not easy leaving players out of the 18, never mind the 11.

"What I have said is when you get the jersey, it's up to you to put in a performance to keep it."

Coyle's decisions were further justified with David Wheater, Knight's replacement at centre-back, putting in a man-of-the-match performance.

"I felt it was only right that David came back in because he had been so unlucky to get sent off against Arsenal and had played so well against Aston Villa," he added.

"Zat Knight came on against Chelsea and did well, so he might feel a little bit unfortunate in that respect.

"But having said that, a lot of them had the jersey before and had not done their best to make a claim and stay in the team.

"If you play well, you stay in my team."

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