Coyle urges Sturridge to focus

The 21-year-old has been a revelation since moving to the Reebok

Stadium in January and scored his seventh goal in nine games in

Sunday’s 2-1 victory over Arsenal. Sturridge was a thorn in the

Gunners’ side all afternoon and also won a penalty that would have

put Bolton two goals ahead had captain Kevin Davies been able to

convert it. Sturridge’s form has seen him linked with a senior

England call-up and Coyle has no doubts he can follow in the

footsteps of former Bolton loanee Jack Wilshere, now a key member

of the Arsenal and England sides, provided he keeps the right

attitude. The Trotters boss said: “How he’s developed from being a

young boy into a man is testimony to him, and Daniel can do the

exact same thing. I’ve loved working with both of them. “Whatever’s

going to come will come his way anyway but he has to make sure that

he’s concentrating on his job and continues his progress because we

all know in football that if you don’t then the rug gets pulled

from under your feet. “I’ve stressed to Daniel on a daily basis

that every time he crosses that white line he has to keep showing

people that he’s the real deal, which he is. “He’s been doing it to

this point but we’ve got five big games between now and the end of

the season and I want him to continue that development.” Coyle

admitted when Sturridge arrived at the club that he was not

expecting to be able to make the move permanent and that is a

discussion he will leave for the end of the season. He added: “We

would love to have Daniel here but for that to come to fruition

then a number of things need to happen. Obviously Chelsea would

need to give their blessing and Daniel would need to want to come

back and play the part that he has to this point. That will be for

the summer.” Sunday’s impressive victory ensured Bolton put behind

them at the first opportunity their 5-0 thrashing by Stoke in the

FA Cup semi-finals a week earlier. Wednesday sees the Trotters back

in action with a Premier League trip to Fulham, and Coyle insisted

he had no doubts his players would respond in the right manner. He

said: “I didn’t worry with this group of players. What happened, as

hurtful as it was, it was a freak. We’ve played 41 games and there

haven’t been many of those where we haven’t reached a certain

standard. “We had to try to bounce back quickly. We had six games

at that point and we wanted to try to get as many points as we

could to continue the progress we’ve made at the football club. “We

managed to do that on Sunday and now we move on to a very tough

game at Fulham. “They’re a quality side, they played ever so well

at Wolves at the weekend, but it’s another opportunity to get a

win. We’ve won there in the cup this year and we have to try to do

it again.” Victory on Wednesday night would take Bolton above

Everton into seventh place and maintain their slim hopes of

securing a Europa League spot. Coyle added: “Where we sit in the

league we recognise there’s a clamour of clubs behind us hoping to

continue their improvement and move up the league and equally we’ve

got to look above us to Everton and Liverpool and try to capitalise

on our game in hand tomorrow night.”