Coyle taking nothing for granted

BY foxsports • April 1, 2011

Wanderers are enjoying their best season since finishing sixth in 2004/05 and also have an FA Cup semi-final against Stoke to look forward to in two weeks' time. Before their trip to Wembley, Bolton must keep their focus on the league, starting with Saturday's clash at Birmingham. The high of Carling Cup glory has quickly given way to the stress of a relegation battle for Alex McLeish's side, and Coyle is taking no chances despite his side being eight points above the bottom three. The Scot said: "It could be more than 10 teams involved. We're obviously sitting in seventh but everybody knows if they're on any sort of bad run you can be drawn into that. "We have to focus on what we're doing, trying to get enough points to keep us moving up the table. "I don't believe 40 points will be enough this year, I think you'll need more than that. "Even the team in 20th can beat the team in first position and the quality of the league is such that you certainly don't sit back and rest on your laurels because you get a slap in the face in football for that." Bolton are making a second visit to St Andrew's in less than a month following their 3-2 victory in the FA Cup quarter-finals. McLeish rested a number of key players that day and Coyle, who has injury problems of his own to deal with this weekend, expects a stern examination of his European hopefuls. He said: "We're obviously boosted by winning there in the FA Cup but we know they're a very good side. "Both teams had players missing that day and, come Saturday, we'll have players missing again. That's just the nature of things and you have to make the best of what you've got. "It's the Carling Cup winners we're playing. They didn't win that by accident, they won it with real quality, particularly in the final against Arsenal. "We know the quality they have and they're led not only by an outstanding manager but a terrific man. He'll have his players fired up and ready to go and we have to show we're ready to combat that. "A couple of results can change things and Alex will have that in his mind. We have to make sure that if they get those results it's after Saturday." Birmingham's predicament offers a warning to Bolton as the FA Cup date draws ever nearer, but Coyle is confident his players will not allow themselves to become distracted. "The semi-final will take care of itself when it comes about," he added. "We've got two massive games before that, first and foremost at Birmingham, and then at home to West Ham." Coyle has problems chiefly in midfield on Saturday, with Stuart Holden (knee) out for six months and Mark Davies (ankle) a major doubt. The Scot, meanwhile, revealed defender Zat Knight, who has been out for six weeks with a knee injury, could return for the FA Cup semi-final. Coyle said: "They've all got chances. Zat is such a big player for us and an integral part of what we're doing, it would be terrific if we could get him back on board. "Zat managed to train a little bit with us the other day and it was great to have him back out on the grass. "What we have to do now is build up those training sessions and make sure there's no reaction along the way. He's been out for six weeks already and we have to be very careful what we're doing."