Belfast Telegraph

Friday 19 December 2014

Coyle: We can still survive

Owen Coyle
Owen Coyle

Defiant Bolton boss Owen Coyle is convinced his side still hold their Barclays Premier League future in their own hands despite blowing a two-goal lead to draw 2-2 with West Brom at the Reebok Stadium.

James Morrison's last-minute equaliser, coupled with a late winner for Queen's Park Rangers over Stoke, means the Trotters have to win their last game at Stoke next Sunday and hope at least one other club slips up.

But with Rangers facing the thankless task of a trip to champions-elect Manchester City, Coyle sees hope and said: "We have to pick ourselves up and win that game and I truly believe that will be enough to keep us in the Barclays Premier League."

Coyle did not hide his disappointment at the way his side - seemingly coasting to victory after 70 minutes through goals from Martin Petrov and an own goal from Billy Jones, allowed the Baggies to pull level through Chris Brunt and then Morrison's late strike.

Coyle added: "There is no getting away from how disappointing it is to have drawn a game that to all intents and purposes we were well placed to win.

"We created some unbelievable chances and at 2-0 up we should have closed the game out and had the three points we craved. My disappointment is that we allowed that to slip away, and now we have to stand up and be counted."

West Bromwich Albion assistant boss Keith Downing said his players had emphatically disproved the theory that they may lack application following the shock news of Roy Hodgson's imminent departure to England.

Downing, standing in for Hodgson at the post-match press conference, said: "Things were said about the timing of the FA's announcement and whether we were going to be taking it seriously.

"But we knew the magnitude of the game, particularly for Bolton and the other teams in fear of relegation. I think it is testament to the players that they showed so much concentration and application."

Downing admitted it had been a strange week for the Baggies players, following news that Hodgson was heading to Wembley and the club would need a new manager, but he added: "The players got on with it and focused on the game. The players are really pleased for him. They know this is the pinnacle of the job and all his hard work over the years."

Nightlife galleries

More

Latest Sport News

Stats Centre