Coyle: Ignore the injury crisis, win all our games and stay up


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The Independent Online

Bolton manager Owen Coyle has told his side they must forget about the injuries they have and cash in their games in hand to avoid following Wolves into the Championship.

Bolton are second bottom and four points from safety but they have five games still to play while Blackburn, Wigan and QPR all have just three more fixtures. Aston Villa, who are not clear of danger in 15th, are first up tonight.

Coyle said: "Wolves are a fantastic club but sometimes things go against you. Nobody wants to see what happened to Wolves happen to their own club and if that's an added incentive for us then all well and good.

"We have the opportunity and we have to maximise that opportunity. Bottom line is that we decide our own fate."

Coyle believes his side can get enough positive results. A three-match winning run in March was followed by consecutive defeats, before a draw at home against Swansea.

"We're not a team that has been struggling for form," he said. "Regardless of the people we have missing, we have enough quality to stay in the league."

Coyle is monitoring the fitness of Mark Davies as he attempts to keep a threadbare midfield functioning. A horrendous run of problems – starting in pre-season when Lee Chung-yong and Stuart Holden suffered long-term injuries and including Fabrice Muamba's cardiac arrest on the field against Tottenham – has left Bolton desperately short in the engine room.

Davies sustained a knock against Swansea and did not train yesterday, but Coyle is hoping he can take on Villa. If not, 18-year-old Josh Vela could be pressed into action after making a late debut last time out.

Bolton's task may be made easier by the fact Villa have won only four times at home this season. They lie only five points above the bottom three and manager Alex McLeish has seen his team surrender home leads several times.

The Scot said: "Our record at home is rotten. It's not something we are proud of. It's something that we can't do anything about now but we've got to do something about the next game. We've got to go all out to win it. The stakes of the Premier League are enormous."