Coyle wary of ‘tough’ Saints tie

Just three days after a successful trip to West Ham in the Premier
League, Bolton are clocking up the miles once more on the first
step towards what Coyle hopes will be a place at Wembley in March.
Quite aside from the length of the journey, the Trotters chief is
wary of Southampton’s ability. Alan Pardew’s men may have struggled
for form so far this term but Coyle does not expect that situation
to last long. “It is probably the toughest tie we could have got,”
said Coyle. “Southampton are a big club and while I know they are
in League One now, I truly believe by the end of the season, they
won’t be.” It means Coyle will select an experienced line-up this
evening, even if a few senior stars, such as Jussi Jaaskelainen and
Kevin Davies, will get a rest. As the man who guided Burnley into
the semi-finals two years ago – where they were unlucky to lose
against Tottenham – and then saw how that run galvanised the
Clarets, who were ultimately promoted through the play-offs, Coyle
knows the benefits that can emerge from extended participation in a
cup competition. “I have always loved cup competitions and I have
always believed they can work alongside a league programme,” said
Coyle, who is set to give a debut to Hungary-born 21-year-old
keeper Alex Bogdan. “You want to win every competition you enter.
“We showed that at Burnley. The Carling Cup run we had there
galvanised us and took us on collectively. “But over the course of
that season, we played 61 games, so you do have to juggle things
around a little bit.”