Following a 2-0 defeat by Everton that leaves Bolton in the relegation zone, Owen Coyle was adamant his side’s form will pick up and even made the bold claim that they will still be in the Premier League next season.
Coyle’s team sit in 18th place, two points behind Wolves, Fulham and Sunderland who all have 11, but their home form is a serious cause for concern, as they have now lost six out of seven at the Reebok following the latest set-back against Everton.
With Bolton firmly entrenched in a battle for survival, it was suggested to Coyle that he should be worried and aware his side are in trouble, but the Scot remains convinced they are just going through a tough period and will retain their Premier League status.
“The bottom line is, there is no getting away from the stigma that is the bottom three,” he told reporters.
“It’s not nice, it’s been a horrible couple of months, that goes without saying, but the important thing is that you see through that and knowing that you can turn it around.
“I’ve got no doubt we’ll win our games and move ourselves up the league, the sooner you do that the better of course.
“Every game in football you don’t win then that obviously makes the next even bigger, but that is part and parcel of being in the best league in the world, you make sure you stay in it, which we will do.”
The Everton goals were scored by Marouane Fellaini and Apostolis Vellios, both in the second half, but the major turning-point came 20 minutes in when David Wheater was given a straight red card for a studs-up lunge on Diniyar Bilyaletdinov. Coyle did not seem too surprised the defender was sent-off.
He continued: “My only complaint is that David took a bad touch, there is no getting away from that.
“He tried to recover it. The rules are that if your studs are showing you leave yourself open to a red card.
“I’ve not watched it back, only seen it in real time and I certainly felt he did lead with his studs and caught the lad.
“The referee is in a difficult place because of the rules he has to abide by.
“In my day and age it would probably have been a yellow card because I think you can recognise that he took a bad touch, he didn’t come from 40 yards to try and hurt the lad.
“Bilyaletdinov to his credit was really sharp on to it and that’s the rules, so I can’t say it surprised me.”
After a fairly promising start to the match, Bolton’s capitulation coincided with Wheater’s red card and the former Burnley manager has no doubts it completely changed the game:
“I always like to think I’m honest with my assessment of matches,” he claimed. “But there is no doubt it was a huge turning point in the match.
“Just prior to that we had started the game well, looked a real threat going forward.
“My disappointment is that I felt we’ve lost two soft goals from our point of view.
“It’s no excuse to say we only had ten men. The start of the second half, that for me was avoidable.
“We should have defended those incidents better and we didn’t. “