Coyle hails Bolton progress

Bolton will hope to end a run of four successive defeats on Sunday

when they entertain Manchester City. That poor sequence of results

has come on the back of a heavy defeat by Stoke in the FA Cup

semi-final at Wembley, and Bolton are now struggling to finish in

the top 10 after at one stage appearing on course for Europe.

However Coyle, who arrived from Burnley in January 2010, believes

they are making great strides. He said: “We have improved

enormously from the team we inherited in the bottom three. “We want

to win this game against City to finish as high up the league as we

can – top 10, maybe even top eight. “That would be on merit,

considering how hard we have worked, even though a couple of recent

results slipped away from us. “If anyone comes into a season

thinking it is always going to be smooth at this level they will be

sadly mistaken. But that serves to make you better at your job. “I

know I am a better manager than I was last year and I will be

looking again for further improvement for myself and my club next

season.” While Coyle has nothing but admiration for managerial

counterpart Roberto Mancini he is determined they end the season

with a positive result in front of their own supporters. The

Italian, backed the considerable financial muscle of owner Sheikh

Mansour, has steered City into the Champions League for the first

time and delivered the FA Cup. Coyle said: “Roberto Mancini is

someone I have a lot of time for. He is a real football man, very

humble, very likeable. I am delighted they have that silverware to

back up a terrific season and they will be looking to cement third

place. “We would all love that funding and finance to be at your

disposal but then you have to deliver. Manchester City have done

that. They are going on the right lines. “Is it not a mismatch?.

They have spent £300million, we have spent £3million. My

answer is “no” because when you cross the white line it is 11 v 11.

“I know my players are more than capable of winning this match.

They have shown that all year. We have been in terrific form at the

Reebok. I want us to finish the season in style and we have

improved no end.” Midfielder Fabrice Muamba faces a race to be fit

after suffering a hamstring injury at Blackpool. Mark Davies,

Stuart Holden, Sam Ricketts and Sean Davis are all long-term