Bolton hopeful of Cup run despite injury woes

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The Independent Football

Bolton boss Owen Coyle is confident his squad can cope with their defensive problems as he waits to learn the extent of the Achilles damage suffered by Sam Ricketts in yesterday's FA Cup fourth-round replay win at Wigan.

Wanderers secured a last-16 trip to Fulham on Sunday with a 1-0 triumph at the DW Stadium, although the victory was marred by Ricketts' injury, the Welshman going to ground in the second half while tracking Latics substitute Victor Moses and having to be carried off the pitch on a stretcher.

Coyle, who expects Zat Knight to be out for four to six weeks with an ankle ligament injury sustained in last weekend's win over Everton in the Barclays Premier League, confirmed Ricketts was likely to be sidelined for some considerable time.

The manager, though, has faith in what remains at his disposal.

"That is the nature of football, but again, it is something we have to cope with, as we have done all season," Coyle said.

"At one point we were down to 15 players and we are not at that stage yet, but we do have good players - as they have shown (against Wigan) - that can step into the breach.

"David Wheater (Knight's replacement in the starting XI) was outstanding again and I thought after Marcos Alonso came on (for Ricketts) and went to left-back, with Paul Robinson going to the right, they all stuck to their task.

"We would love to have Zat and Sam fit, and we'd love to have Gretar Steinsson fit, who has been injured and is on his way back. But it's all hands to the pump and that is the way we have always worked anyway."

Coyle admitted the signs were not good for Ricketts.

"The medical team think it could be quite severe and we hope that is not the scenario," the Scot said.

"But the way it is looking right now, I think it is going to be a lengthy period of time (he is out for)."

In a match with an attendance of just 7,515, Ivan Klasnic netted the winner for Bolton in the 66th minute, rifling the ball across Mike Pollitt and into the corner having been played in by Mark Davies.

Wigan boss Roberto Martinez, who made nine changes, did his best to remain upbeat in defeat, focusing on the performances of three unnamed players he thinks can boost the club's battle for top-flight survival.

He also claimed the "soft" pitch, which is being relaid today, worked against his side.

"I felt some of the individual performances were very good and that is a positive," said Martinez.

"But as a team, we couldn't adapt to the pitch, which didn't help us to put three or four passes together. We found it quite difficult and Bolton adapted a lot better.

"From our point of view, it (the performance) has given us three new players for the next 11 games of the season but quite clearly, we need to relay the pitch so we have a pitch where we can play our football."



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