Bolton boss Owen Coyle insists he had no doubts starting Gary Cahill despite imminent Chelsea transfer

The 45-year-old did not allow the 26-year-old's proposed move to Stamford Bridge hamper his team selection, as the Trotters sink to bottom of the table after Wolves draw
Bolton Wanderers manager Owen Coyle has insisted that he never had any doubts about starting Chelsea target Gary Cahill for the 1-1 draw with Wolves at the Reebok Stadium on Saturday.

Sam Ricketts, who made his return to first-team action following 10 months on the sidelines, scored his first goal since March 2007, before Steve Fletcher equalised shortly after half-time.

Cahill started the game despite the 26-year-old being widely expected to complete his move to Stamford Bridge in the coming weeks, with a fee having been agreed between the two clubs.

When asked it took a lot of deliberation to start the defender, Coyle replied: "No it didn’t, I’ve always spoke to Gary sensibly and everyone knows his footballing abilities and I know him as a man and his character as a man and I thought his performance was terrific today.

"I knew mentally he would be fine with the game because what you have to remember as well is that Gary Cahill is a Bolton Wanderers player and he will be until anything changes on that."

Following Blackburn's surprise 3-2 victory over Manchester United at Old Trafford, Coyle's side drop to the bottom of the Premier League table, but the former Burnley boss remained positive, praising the performance of 30-year-old Ricketts.

He said: "I think it's terrific for us all to see him back. I think it was a terrific performance from him when you consider he has been out for 10 months.

"He scored a wonderful goal but he will be disappointed though with the free-kick, I think it was adrenaline and how much he was enjoying being out there and he was that committed he has obviously banged into Fletcher and given them a free-kick and an opportunity to get back in it.

"But overall I’m delighted for Sam to be back and he showed great quality and great pace and hopefully we will have one or two more coming back from injury."

The 45-year-old believes his side could have won the game had they been able to replicate their first-half performance after the break.

He added: "Our first-half performance was terrific and we limited Wolves very few opportunities and looked a real threat ourselves.

"I feel we could have had the three points overall but if we had replicated the first-half performance then we would have and that is something.

"I have mentioned before and we have to make sure for the duration of the match that we are solid and have real desire to see the games out."