Coyle salutes spirited Wanderers

Published Dec. 13, 2010 7:15 a.m. ET

Mame Biram Diouf's 87th-minute equaliser appeared to have ended the Trotters' hopes of three points before Stuart Holden volleyed a stunning winner moments after the restart to earn a 2-1 win. Coyle said: "What I loved was that having lost an equaliser so late in the game and being down to 10 men it would be easy to feel sorry for yourself. "But with this group their first instinct was to go forward and to try to win it, even with 10 men. "What it showed me was that we have a tremendous spirit and desire to go and work for each other and to stand up and be counted. I think that was so evident for everyone to see." Coyle reserved particular praise for Fabrice Muamba, who responded to being dropped for the first time in the league this season by netting the opener just five minutes after coming on as substitute. "Fabrice scored a great goal," said Coyle. "It was a big decision to leave him out because Fabrice has started every game me. "It shows I'm not afraid to make the big decisions. It would have been easy for Fabrice to sulk but he didn't. He came on and scored a wonderful goal." And Coyle admitted he had few complaints about the 56th-minute sending-off of Mark Davies for two bookable offences, the second of which was an apparent elbow on Phil Jones. Coyle added: "Mark hasn't got a bad bone in his body but maybe being great in the air is not his best attribute. There was no intent there but I understand what that was perceived as." Disappointed Rovers boss Sam Allardyce blasted his side for defending "like a bunch of old women" and added: "We have thrown away the chance of more points." But Allardyce pinpointed a particular moment in the match when he claimed Zat Knight was guilty of handball in the box moments before Bolton broke down the other end and opened the scoring. Allardyce said: "The real turning point was a blatant handball by Zat Knight. They got a free-kick off the goal-kick and put the ball in the box and Muamba scored. "So in the space of one minute and 30 seconds the game has turned on its head from us gaining an advantage and maybe going 1-0 up, to us defending like a bunch of old women." But Allardyce admitted his disappointment over some of the decisions made by referee Mark Clattenburg could not hide the fact that his team had thrown away a point. "Mame got us back in the game and we didn't learn our lesson from Bolton putting balls down the middle, and immediately the ball goes down the middle from the re-start," added Allardyce. "We all know what Kevin Davies is good at and lo and behold none of our defenders pick up the loose ball. It's a very good finish from Holden but it's diabolical defending. "I thought we were better when we had 11 versus 11 because they were doing nothing to threaten us. The disappointing thing is throwing the points away. At the very least we should have had a draw."