Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 23 September 2014

Coyle keen to honour Lofthouse

Owen Coyle

Bolton manager Owen Coyle wants his players to give a performance the late Nat Lofthouse would have proud of when they face Chelsea on Monday.

It will be an emotional night at the Reebok Stadium with a minute's silence before kick-off in honour of the legendary striker. Coyle knows how strong the football community is in Bolton, having made 54 appearances for the club between 1993 and 1995 before returning as manager 12 months ago.

And he believes his players have a duty to the fans to put in a hard shift, no matter the opposition and he is convinced they will respect Lofthouse's memory, saying: "Everyone at the club knows Nat from seeing him about and what he brought to Bolton. If the players can add that little bit to their game on Monday that would excellent. They will do their utmost that's for sure."

He added: "What Nat had apart from being the best player Bolton ever had, he was a supporter of the club.

"I ask my players the same thing, to give their best for those supporters, so they know they have a team to be proud of. I am pretty sure on Monday the players will do that."

Lofthouse died last weekend at the age of 85. His funeral and thanksgiving service will take place on Wednesday at Bolton Parish Church and be followed by a private committal.

A one-club man, Lofthouse made more than 450 appearances for Bolton, scoring 255 goals for the club between 1946 and 1960.

He represented England 33 times, scoring 30 goals and became widely known as the 'Lion of Vienna' after his performance against Austria.

Coyle is looking for his side to get back on track after a dip in form - they lost 2-0 at Stoke last weekend. Bolton have taken only eight points from their last nine league games after a bright start to the season.

They face Wolves after Chelsea and Coyle said: "We have a number of games where we are looking to pick up points and that starts on Monday night. We are not taking our chances and have conceded soft goals. Whenever you play the quality teams like Chelsea and Manchester United you have to mare sure you are at your best. We have shown regardless of who we play we can win points."

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