More Of The Same

Owen Coyle hoping his side can build on recent performances and maintain their unbeaten home record in upcoming back-to-back Reebok fixtures

Owen Coyle has been delighted with the reaction of his players since the international break and he now hopes the home crowd can inspire his men to keep that winning momentum going on Saturday against Crystal Palace. 

Wanderers claimed their first away win of the season last week at Sheffield Wednesday and now enter a busy few days as they welcome both Crystal Palace and Leeds United to the Reebok.

Coyle believes his team are beginning to come to terms with the realities of Championship football, but the tough week ahead gifts the Trotters an ideal opportunity to start moving up the table.

Speaking in his pre-match press conference Coyle said: “We know we are playing well since the international break having taken six points out of nine, and it should have been nine out of nine. 

“Now, moving in to two home games, we have to use that win at Sheffield Wednesday as a catalyst to drive us forward to pick up wins in the home games. We need to pick up points that the performances deserve.

“I think the players are now realising how demanding the Championship is. I think we know that it isn’t a sprint but a marathon, and step-by-step you have to start picking up the points to put yourself into that great position to kick on and move up the table.

“Since the international break we have done that and now entering two homes games we have the chance to cement that and push ourselves up the league.

“We have to be focused and give the opponents the utmost respect starting on Saturday against Crystal Palace, who have some fantastic players and have been on a good run of form.

“But equally, if we get to our best we can be formidable opponents and that is what we have to strive to do game in game out. It is twice now that we have played three games in six or seven days, so we have to be ready for these demands of the Championship.”

Bolton now head into back-to-back homes games and Coyle is hopeful that the supporters can turn the Reebok into a fortress that can kick-start their season.

“We are unbeaten this season at the Reebok and we have to make sure as a football club that we bring it all together,” Coyle added. 

“We have to make it as intimidating as possible, and with our performances pick up the points we know we are capable of getting.

“The fixtures are relentless, but we have got to understand that with the reputation we have got every game is going to be a cup final for the opponents. We have to be ready for that. 

“We must be ready to match up our opponents for desire and how much they want it.”

The only concern for Saturday is over the fitness of Spanish defender Marcos Alonso, whose 44th minute header gave Bolton the lead at Hillsborough last Saturday.

“Marcos took a knock at Sheffield Wednesday last week but we are expecting him to train today and we are hoping to have the same squad available as last week.”

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