Belfast Telegraph

Coyle blasts lack of character

Bolton boss Owen Coyle blasted his players for a lack of character after an eighth defeat in nine Barclays Premier League matches at the Reebok Stadium left them deep in relegation trouble.

The Trotters ended a run of five straight losses with victory at Blackburn in midweek to climb off the bottom of the table but they could not follow that up as they slumped to a 2-0 defeat against Newcastle.

Coyle said: "Until the first goal Newcastle had offered no threat in the second half and we looked like we could go on to win the game but then we've given the ball away under no pressure. Soft is probably an understatement."

He added: "Take nothing away from the cutback and the finish, that was exquisite. Newcastle have been doing that all season because they've got terrific offensive players who can hurt you, but prior to that the threat was minimal.

"We've given it away cheaply, but when that happens and you're 1-0 down with 20 minutes left, you're looking for a bit of character, and we had that from a few but not enough. One or two were fragile, maybe lacking confidence, but there should be no need for that coming off a win the other night and the performance."

Toon boss Alan Pardew was delighted to put their bad run, and especially last weekend's home defeat by West Brom, behind them, and felt the return of defender Mike Williamson after four months out with an ankle injury was key.

"We put ourselves under pressure with the West Brom result so it was important today that we gave a more disciplined performance and I think we did that," said Pardew.

"We felt from the last two games that four points would have been really pleasing. We didn't manage to get anything against West Brom but we got three very valuable ones today.

"In the Premier League you don't want to create pressure for yourselves by having a winless run like we were on. We felt certain things didn't really go for us in that period but we had round pegs in round holes today.

"Williamson made a big difference to us because he's a natural centre-half. As much as Bolton threw at us, him and (Fabricio) Coloccini had the answers."


From Belfast Telegraph