Belfast Telegraph

Coyle confident Wanderers will rise

Bolton manager Owen Coyle does not expect his team to be involved in the Barclays Premier League relegation scrap despite their poor start to the season.

The Trotters looked like they had stopped the rot last weekend with victory at Wigan to end a run of six defeats in a row but Saturday's 2-0 home loss against Sunderland left them without a point at the Reebok Stadium after five matches.

Coyle said: "It's not bravery or being naive or anything else. The bottom line is wherever we sit just now is certainly not where I want to be as Bolton Wanderers manager, accepting it's been for a number of reasons."

He added: "Because of that start these games take on extra significance because of the stigma involved in being in the bottom three, you want to be out of there and moving up, and that's why today was a great opportunity to do it.

"We haven't done it and we didn't do it because in the second half we didn't perform well enough. If we'd got to our standard and our maximum then we could have won that game, there's no doubt about that."

Sunderland came into the game level on points with Bolton and looking for their first away victory of the season, and manager Steve Bruce felt it was tension that made the first half such a poor spectacle.

"We got them in at half-time and tried to take the shackles off a bit," said Bruce, who made it five wins from five games against Bolton as boss of Sunderland.

"Both sides were nervous and edgy. I'm sure there will have been a lot of clubs like that, there were three points separating nine teams I think this morning.

"We wanted them to try to enjoy it and let me do the worrying and thankfully they've responded in the right way. We played very well in the second half, which was pleasing.

"We thoroughly deserved it. I cannot remember going away from home in the Premier League and dominating like that."


From Belfast Telegraph