Bolton defence leave Coyle hot under the collar

Norwich 2 Bolton 0

Carrow Road

The obvious course of action is not always the right one, but sometimes it is, and Owen Coyle's refusal to take it led to him suffering on two counts at Carrow Road. Insisting on wearing his customary shorts on an afternoon cold enough to freeze the soul, let alone the extremities, seemed almost masochistic, for all he claimed afterwards not to be aware of the temperature until the match was over. And so too did his refusal to change the way his side was set up to account for the fact Norwich had lost both their centre-halves in a first half during which Bolton managed a solitary strike on goal, and that a long-distance shot from Martin Petrov moments before the break.

By the time Coyle did introduce Kevin Davies, for whom the situation appeared ideally suited, to give David N'Gog support up front, Norwich had re-established an impressive momentum, and while Bolton did improve, it was no surprise that Andrew Surman, with a volley, and Anthony Pilkington, turning in after Bolton goalkeeper Adam Bogdan had saved Russell Martin's shot, scored the goals which gave the Canaries a deserved victory.

For Coyle, however, it was in defence rather than attack where his team had failed to reach the standards which had seen them take 11 points from their previous seven games. "When Kevin came on he won every header and looked a threat, but the problem was we didn't defend well enough to keep Norwich out, and ultimately that was the tale of the game," he claimed.

Opposite number Paul Lambert is not one for going over the top, but after seeing his players let themselves down against Sunderland in midweek, the manner in which they bounced back led the Scot to claim it was the best performance he had seen in his time at the club. "The way we played, losing two centre-halves and having to put two full-backs in at centre-half, was really pleasing. We were excellent."

Match details

Norwich: RUDDY 7/10; DRURY 6; WHITBREAD 7; AYALA 7; NAUGHTON 8; PILKINGTON 7; FOX 7; HOOLAHAN 7; SURMAN 7; JACKSON 8; HOLT 7

Bolton: BOGDAN 6; RICKETTS 6; WHEATER; 7 KNIGHT 7; MEARS 6; MUAMBA 5; REO-COKER 5; PETROV 6; M DAVIES 6; EAGLES 5; NGOG5

Scorers: Norwich City Surman 70, Pilkington 85

Substitutes: Norwich R Martin 7 (Ayala, 23), Bennett 7 (Whitbread, 40), Morison (Jackson, 74) Bolton Wanderers K Davies 6 (Muamba, 57), Tuncay (Eagles, 73), Sordell (Ngog, 82).

Booked None

Man of the match Naughton.

Match rating 6/10

Possession: Norwich 49% Bolton 51%

Attempts on target: Norwich 9 Bolton 6

Referee L Probert (Gloucestershire) Attendance 26,358

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
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

Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there