Coyle aiming high with Trotters

Published Jan. 9, 2011 1:15 p.m. ET

In his time at St Johnstone and Burnley, Coyle established a reputation as a manager blessed with good cup fortune, and now he claims Bolton can deliver knock-out blows over the next four months, on the road towards Wembley. They rode their luck to see off York 2-0 at the Reebok Stadium yesterday, with late goals from substitutes Kevin Davies and Johan Elmander coming after former Portsmouth midfielder Neil Barrett had twice failed to convert golden chances for the Blue Square Premier visitors. Coyle was able to name a full bench for the first time in 2011, after injuries and unavailability prompted him to pick just four substitutes for the league games against Liverpool and Wigan. But his squad remains stretched, which is why he is understood to be keen to acquire centre-back David Wheater from Middlesbrough, a move which would at the very least keep Gary Cahill and Zat Knight on their toes. Coyle claimed he was never overly worried even as York threatened to cause a huge upset, and while the result flattered Bolton, the manager sees it as a springboard to far greater achievement. "I would love an extended cup run, to go hand in hand with the league form," Coyle said. "Some people might think that's crazy, given we're not blessed with great numbers, but I believe this group is good enough to go toe to toe when we're at our maximum." Coyle added: "I'm never concerned with this group of players. "Everyone wants to be in front and winning games but we recognise the margins in football, especially in cup ties, as we've seen up and down the country this weekend. "Some big teams have gone out and it was important we progressed in the cup." Coyle has established himself as hot property after impressing at Premier League level first with Burnley and now with Bolton, who stand seventh in the table and in the hunt for a Europa League place. The appointment of Kenny Dalglish as Roy Hodgson's short-term successor at Liverpool has stifled speculation Coyle could jump across to the Anfield hotseat in mid-season. Coyle believes his fellow Scot is well-suited to the Anfield job, almost 20 years after abdicating in the wake of a thrilling 4-4 derby draw with Everton. Coyle said: "Roy Hodgson won the manager of the year award last year - he's a fantastic manager. He'll show again he's a fantastic manager, so I'm disappointed for Roy. Kenny I know well. He's a fantastic man and his knowledge of football speaks for itself."