Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 21 August 2014

Coyle wary of Fulham threat

Owen Coyle

Bolton boss Owen Coyle has warned his side they will come up against one of the more dangerous forward lines in the Barclays Premier League when they take on Fulham at Craven Cottage.

The previous two meetings between the sides this season have produced only one goal, with Ivan Klasnic netting the winner for the Trotters in an FA Cup fifth-round meeting in February. That match saw the return of Bobby Zamora after five months out with a broken leg, while Andy Johnson and Moussa Dembele are also back at peak fitness."Mark Hughes is an outstanding manager and he always has been," said Coyle of the former Manchester City boss who has led his side to five wins in their last seven home games. " I think they started with a lot of draws and then they had a little dip, as can happen to any team, but from that point on they've really picked themselves up."

He added: "They've had big injuries to key players. Bobby Zamora is a top player and to get him back with the strength in depth they have in that area - Clint Dempsey, Moussa Dembele, Andy Johnson - they're strikers that could play for anybody in the Premier League."

Wednesday's clash will be another chance for Bolton to show they have fully recovered from the shock of their FA Cup mauling by Stoke at Wembley. They responded in the best possible way by beating Arsenal 2-1 on Sunday and Coyle is hoping for more of the same at Craven Cottage.

Coyle said: "I didn't worry with this group of players. What happened, as hurtful as it was, was a freak. We've played 41 games and there haven't been many of those where we haven't reached a certain standard.

"We had to try to bounce back quickly. We had six games at that point and we wanted to try to get as many points as we could to continue the progress we've made at the football club.

"We managed to do that on Sunday and now we move on to a very tough game at Fulham."

Victory in west London would lift the Trotters above Everton into seventh place and maintain their slim hopes of securing a Europa League spot.

Coyle added: "Where we sit in the league we recognise there's a clamour of clubs behind us hoping to continue their improvement and move up the league, and equally we've got to look above us to Everton and Liverpool and try to capitalise on our game in hand."

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