Owen Coyle is not haunted by axe
Bolton manager Owen Coyle is taking no notice of the unwritten rule which states the team bottom of the table at Christmas will almost certainly be relegated.
In the previous 19 years of the Premier League only one side - West Brom in 2004/5 - have managed to survive having been in last place come December 25.
And if Bolton fail to beat Blackburn at Ewood Park tonight they will have the Christmas curse hanging over them for the rest of the season.
But for the ever-positive Coyle, the lessons of recent history have little significance.
"Facts and stats are whatever you want to make of them," he said. "My focus is only the game, looking to get those [three] points.
"There is no getting away from the fact that we are absolutely disappointed with where we are.
"Even given the circumstances with injuries and suspensions I don't think anyone would have envisaged the points return we would have from the games we have played.
"We are not looking for excuses and the bottom line is we have to change it and we are the only ones who can do that. The position we are in doesn't lie."