Bolton’s home record is going to be crucial if they are to gain promotion back to the Premier League at the first time of asking. Or the second time. Or at all.
So far, we’re actually doing OK – despite some of the gloom and doom mongering that us fans are famous for. Unbeaten at the Reebok – two wins and a draw – while scoring six and conceding three. It’s not too bad.
The stats should be better though, as the title of this blog suggests. Speaking to BBC Radio Manchester after Saturday’s 2-1 demolition (ahem) of Watford, Owen Coyle was quick to hint at the fact that Bolton could have had a clean sheet.
Talking about the second half, and Doyley’s goal that brought Watford back into the game, Coyle said: “We allowed Watford to come onto us and it was the biggest fluke goal you’ve ever seen in your life. What happened then was we got a little bit nervous and the fans got nervous, but we could have finished with five or six goals very easily.”
Now as I alluded to in my last blog, it’s normal for fans to be upset when a first half performance is followed by such a lackluster second. It brings back the age old question – how much influence can a manager have one the players are out on the pitch? Once again, Coyle’s post-match comments suggest he believes the onus is on the players.
“Sometimes the players, when we’re 2-0 up, will sit and hold what we’ve got,” he said. It begs the question though – if Coyle believes that’s the wrong approach, and he is telling them as much, are they simply not listening or is he failing to get his point accross? And the way he refers to “the players” deciding to hold what we had, does that mean it came as a shock to him? Because it most certainly shouldn’t.
Anyway – the most important thing is that we back both the players and the manager tomorrow night. It’s not a must-win, but we must take a minimum of three points from the next two games.
“We all want the same prize for Bolton Wanderers. Everybody wants to be sitting top of the league and the time to make sure we’re there is after the final game of the season. That’s our aim,” Coyle said at the end of the BBC interview.
I don’t think anyone could disagree with that: manager, player or fans.