Coyle calls for winning tribute to Lofthouse

Owen Coyle has said that Bolton winning the FA Cup this year would be the perfect tribute to Nat Lofthouse.

Bolton have not won a major trophy since the Cup in 1958, when Lofthouse scored both goals in the 2-0 defeat of Manchester United. Lofthouse died earlier this year, and the Bolton manager believes that winning the Cup in May would be a "marvellous occasion". If they win their sixth-round tie at Birmingham City this afternoon they would be one match away from their first FA Cup final since the game that Lofthouse made his own.

"Everybody knows how sad everybody was with Nat's passing," said Coyle of the man who scored 255 league goals for his home-town club in 452 appearances. "I think it's important we remembered all the good things that he brought, not only to the football club but also the community. It would be lovely to achieve that, but we know there's some difficult obstacles in the way. But we'll do everything we can to try to progress, and if it all came together then obviously it would be a marvellous occasion."

With Daniel Sturridge cup-tied, Ivan Klasnic has played an important role in Bolton's progress so far. The Croat scored the only goal in both the fourth-round replay at Wigan and their fifth-round win at Fulham. Coyle praised his contribution to their run so far, as well as his winning goal against Aston Villa last weekend. "Ivan's done fantastic, not only on Saturday, but also scoring the winning goals at Wigan and Fulham, so he's certainly done himself no harm. He's looking 100 per cent fit, he's looking sharp and we know he's a terrific goalscorer."

Bolton will face a Birmingham side who have already won one trophy this year, having beaten Arsenal in the League Cup final last month. But only goal difference is currently keeping them out of the relegation zone and Alex McLeish has admitted that survival is their priority. "The league is more important to us," he said. "There is no doubt about it. But I owe it to the Birmingham fans to play the strongest team available. It might not be strong enough to win. I could play my best team against Bolton, and we could still lose because they are a good side. We could lose but we don't plan to. We are going to try to win this game."

Some changes might be forced upon McLeish, with Lee Bowyer, Keith Fahey, Stephen Carr, Liam Ridgewell, Craig Gardner and Nikola Zigic all doubts for today's match, while David Bentley is out. These absences could open up a place for David Murphy, the left-back who missed all of last season with a knee injury.

"I did wonder if I would ever get back fully fit again," admitted Murphy, who dreams of another Wembley final. "For me, to have the chance to get to Wembley is extra special after the injury. The FA Cup is one of the major competitions in the world. Everyone watches it and to play in an FA Cup final or semi-final would be fantastic. It is just great to be back playing and back involved all the time. I'd love to get more game time but we will have to see what happens."

Murphy has experience of Birmingham's current situation, having been a Middlesbrough trainee in 1997 when they were relegated from the Premiership while reaching both cup finals. "I was at both of those finals with Boro," he recalled. "It wasn't very nice and then for the club to get relegated was a horrible feeling, the worst feeling. Birmingham don't want to do that. If it meant us surviving in the Premier League and getting knocked out of the Cup, I think everyone would take that."

Kick-off: Today, 12.45pm (ESPN)

Lee Dixon's prediction: Away win

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
Floyd Mayweather will relinquish his five world titles after beating Manny Pacquiao
boxing
Arts and Entertainment
tvGame of Thrones season 5 ep 4, review - WARNING: contains major spoiliers!
News
Tottenham legend Jimmy Greaves has defended fans use of the word 'Yid'
people
Life and Style
tech
Arts and Entertainment
The Ridiculous Six has been produced by Adam Sandler, who also stars in it
filmNew controversy after nine Native American actors walked off set
Life and Style
Google celebrates Bartolomeo Cristofori's 360th birthday
techGoogle Doodle to the rescue
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living