Bolton v Newcastle reaction

The Trotters ended a run of five straight losses with victory at

Blackburn in midweek to climb off the bottom of the Premier League

table – but they could not follow that up against the Magpies.

After a poor first half, the game was settled inside three minutes

midway through the second as Hatem Ben Arfa opened the scoring in

the 69th minute and Demba Ba swiftly added his 14th goal of the

season. Coyle’s anger was fuelled by mistakes in the build-up to

both goals, with Chris Eagles giving the ball away for the first

and Paul Robinson for the second. The Scot said: “I thought in the

first 15 minutes Newcastle started better but then we really grew

into the game, finished the first half really strongly and looked

as if we could go in front, and then started the second half in the

same manner. “Until the first goal Newcastle had offered no threat

in the second half and we looked like we could go on to win the

game but then we’ve given the ball away under no pressure. Soft is

probably an understatement. “Take nothing away from the cutback and

the finish, that was exquisite. Newcastle have been doing that all

season because they’ve got terrific offensive players who can hurt

you, but prior to that the threat was minimal. “We’ve given it away

cheaply, but when that happens and you’re 1-0 down with 20 minutes

left, you’re looking for a bit of character, and we had that from a

few but not enough. “One or two were fragile, maybe lacking

confidence, but there should be no need for that coming off a win

the other night and the performance. “But then within two minutes

they get the second and to say it was an unforced error, it was

ridiculous. It was a horrible mistake. (Gabriel) Obertan then raids

down the right, Demba Ba gets a touch, Gary (Cahill’s) gone to

block it and it’s spun up into the top corner, which probably sums

up our little bit of bad luck.” Newcastle went into the game having

picked up only two points from six games, and the first half

showcased two teams struggling for form, with the only chances

coming from one free-kick apiece. Bolton looked livelier at the

start of the second half and Martin Petrov lashed a shot just wide

before the deadlock was broken in the 69th minute as Newcastle

seized on Eagles’ error and Ryan Taylor crossed for Ben Arfa to

volley in expertly. It was the Frenchman’s first goal in more than

a year, much of which he has spent battling back from a broken leg,

and things rapidly got worse for Bolton as Robinson inexplicably

gave the ball away and Obertan crossed for Ba to clip home. Toon

boss Alan Pardew was delighted to put their bad run, and especially

last weekend’s home defeat by West Brom, behind them, and felt the

return of defender Mike Williamson after four months out with an

ankle injury was key. “We put ourselves under pressure with the

West Brom result so it was important today that we gave a more

disciplined performance and I think we did that,” said Pardew. “We

felt from the last two games that four points would have been

really pleasing. We didn’t manage to get anything against West Brom

but we got three very valuable ones today. “In the Premier League

you don’t want to create pressure for yourselves by having a

winless run like we were on. We felt certain things didn’t really

go for us in that period but we had round pegs in round holes

today. “Williamson made a big difference to us because he’s a

natural centre-half. As much as Bolton threw at us, him and

(Fabricio) Coloccini had the answers.”