Coyle out to continue progress

Coyle always maintained Bolton’s position was a false one brought

about largely by a shockingly difficult opening fixture list. Nigel

Reo-Coker settled the visitors’ nerves on Saturday with a

fourth-minute opener and, despite Mohamed Diame’s thunderous

equaliser, strikes from David Ngog and Chris Eagles handed Bolton

the points at the DW Stadium. Bolton’s win eased them off the

bottom of the table and threatened to hand the ‘crisis club’ tag to

their opponents, who are now rooted in the bottom three themselves

after five league losses in a row. Coyle said: “We came here under

pressure because we had lost to the elite clubs. If we had come out

of it with six points, because of who we played you would have said

it was a good return. “But because we hadn’t, and because of the

stigma of being down at the bottom of the league, it’s not

particularly nice. But I stressed to the group we would come

through it and it wasn’t bravado – it was belief. “We’ve got the

three points and what we have to do now is kick on. We want to give

our home fans something to smile about against Sunderland next week

and continue to progress up the league.” Coyle could hardly have

wished for a better start to ease the tension, the impressive

Eagles crossing from the right and finding Reo-Coker, who got the

better of Antolin Alcaraz to prod home. Former Trotters goalkeeper

Ali Al Habsi had to save well from Darren Pratley, but Wigan were

largely second best until Diame equalised out of nowhere, his

crashing right-foot shot from the corner of the box finding the top

corner. What particularly pleased Coyle was the way his side

battled back from the setback, Ngog restoring the lead in

first-half injury time after Kevin Davies had dispossessed Steve

Gohouri. Yet again Wigan’s habit of defensive blunders cost them

dear, and even the half-time introduction of Hugo Rodallega, back

earlier than expected from a knee injury, could not redress the

balance. Dedryck Boyata missed a chance with a point-blank header,

then in the 70th minute, after Boyata was brought down in the box

by Gary Caldwell, Davies saw the resulting penalty brilliantly

saved by Al Habsi. But Bolton remained unflustered and Eagles

wrapped up the victory, seizing on another mistake, this time by

Alcaraz, to cut inside the Wigan box and drill a low shot past Al

Habsi. The manner of the defeat infuriated Wigan boss Roberto

Martinez, who is adamant his side’s bright attacking instinct is

good enough to see them to safety despite their continued defensive

failings. Martinez said: “The defeat is not because we are not good

enough, the defeat is because we got heavily punished for our

decisions and that is what we have to correct – and we have to do

it quickly.” Rodallega’s return at the break was a welcome boost

for Martinez after initial fears the talismanic striker could be

out for as much as four months with the knee injury he suffered

against Queen’s Park Rangers. Martinez added: “It was great to see

Hugo back. We expected him to be out for three or four months but

he worked really hard. He is not fully fit but we needed his

enthusiasm and his magic touch. “We are starting to see players

come back from injury now and we need a bit of stability. “I feel

there were many good things not reflected in the scoreline that

will allow us to get good results in the upcoming weeks.”