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?
Latest in Sport
Sport
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

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

Day In a Page

Mullah Omar, creator of the Taliban, is dead... for the fourth time

Mullah Omar, creator of the Taliban, is dead... again

I was once told that intelligence services declare their enemies dead to provoke them into popping up their heads and revealing their location, says Robert Fisk
Margaret Attwood on climate change: 'Time is running out for our fragile, Goldilocks planet'

Margaret Attwood on climate change

The author looks back on what she wrote about oil in 2009, and reflects on how the conversation has changed in a mere six years
New Dr Seuss manuscript discovered: What Pet Should I Get? goes on sale this week

New Dr Seuss manuscript discovered

What Pet Should I Get? goes on sale this week
Oculus Rift and the lonely cartoon hedgehog who could become the first ever virtual reality movie star

The cartoon hedgehog leading the way into a whole new reality

Virtual reality is the 'next chapter' of entertainment. Tim Walker gives it a try
Ants have unique ability to switch between individual and collective action, says study

Secrets of ants' teamwork revealed

The insects have an almost unique ability to switch between individual and collective action
Donovan interview: The singer is releasing a greatest hits album to mark his 50th year in folk

Donovan marks his 50th year in folk

The singer tells Nick Duerden about receiving death threats, why the world is 'mentally ill', and how he can write a song about anything, from ecology to crumpets
Let's Race simulator: Ultra-realistic technology recreates thrill of the Formula One circuit

Simulator recreates thrill of F1 circuit

Rory Buckeridge gets behind the wheel and explains how it works
Twitter accused of 'Facebookisation' over plans to overhaul reverse-chronological timeline

Twitter accused of 'Facebookisation'

Facebook exasperates its users by deciding which posts they can and can’t see. So why has Twitter announced plans to do the same?
Jane Birkin asks Hermès to rename bag - but what else could the fashion house call it?

Jane Birkin asks Hermès to rename bag

The star was shocked by a Peta investigation into the exotic skins trade
10 best waterproof mascaras

Whatever the weather: 10 best waterproof mascaras

We found lash-enhancing beauties that won’t budge no matter what you throw at them
Diego Costa biography: Chelsea striker's route to the top - from those who shared his journey

Diego Costa: I go to war. You come with me...

Chelsea's rampaging striker had to fight his way from a poor city in Brazil to life at the top of the Premier League. A new book speaks to those who shared his journey
Ashes 2015: England show the mettle to strike back hard in third Test

England show the mettle to strike back hard in third Test

The biggest problem facing them in Birmingham was the recovery of the zeitgeist that drained so quickly under the weight of Australian runs at Lord's, says Kevin Garside
Women's Open 2015: Charley Hull - 'I know I'm a good golfer but I'm also just a person'

Charley Hull: 'I know I'm a good golfer but I'm also just a person'

British teen keeps her feet on ground ahead of Women's Open
Turkey's conflict with Kurdish guerrillas in Iraq can benefit Isis in Syria

Turkey's conflict with Kurdish guerrillas in Iraq can benefit Isis in Syria

Turkish President Erdogan could benefit politically from the targeting of the PKK, says Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: Our choice is years of Tory rule under Jeremy Corbyn or a return to a Labour government

Our choice is years of Tory rule under Corbyn or a return to a Labour government

Yvette Cooper urged Labour members to 'get serious' about the next general election rather than become 'a protest movement'