Belfast Telegraph

Trotters up for challenge - Coyle

Bolton boss Owen Coyle says his team will head into Sunday's Barclays Premier League final-day clash with Stoke recharged and ready to seize the three points they must obtain to stand a chance of avoiding relegation.

Wanderers, currently 18th in the table, need to win at the Britannia Stadium and for 17th-placed QPR to lose at Manchester City if they are to preserve their top-flight status - a predicament they have been left in after they threw away a two-goal lead in the final 15 minutes of last Sunday's 2-2 home draw with West Brom.

Asked if he thought his team would stay up, Coyle said: "I truly believe we will."

Coyle has cited nerves as a factor in his side's concession of the late double against the Baggies, but he also feels fatigue played its part, given it was the Trotters' fifth game in just over two weeks.

Now, with seven days of preparation unbroken by a midweek fixture under their belts, the Scot is confident his players will not suffer similar problems against the Potters.

Referring to what happened at the end of the West Brom match, Coyle said: "We didn't want to be losing any late goals, but we know the reason why.

"We played five games in 15 days. Now we have had a full week to get freshened up and full of that energy that we are known for, go to Stoke and win that game."

Bolton will be without David Wheater after the defender joined the considerable list of Wanderers players to have sustained a serious injury over the past couple of seasons when he suffered cruciate ligament damage in his right knee in last weekend's contest.

Wheater is expected to be out for nine months. But, for all that went wrong in the West Brom game, there was a timely boost for the Trotters with the return to action of one of their key men - winger Lee Chung-yong.

Just two days after making his playing comeback in a behind-closed-doors match, South Korea international Lee - who broke his leg last summer - registered his first senior appearance of the season by coming on as a substitute with just under 10 minutes remaining.


From Belfast Telegraph