Coyle out to continue progress

BY foxsports • October 16, 2011

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."

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