Coyle: 'Am I as good as ever? Probably better ...'

 

Owen Coyle, the Bolton manager, has responded in defiant fashion to his team's precarious position at the foot of the Premier League table and to the increasing speculation that defeat at Blackburn tonight would edge him closer to dismissal.

While the public pressure on Coyle is far less severe than that currently mounting upon his opposite number at Rovers, Steve Kean, there is no doubt that Bolton supporters, previously super-loyal to their former playing hero, are beginning to lose patience. However, Coyle appears to still have the full backing of chairman Phil Gartside and club owner Eddie Davies.

The Scotsman reacted testily yesterday when asked if he had done any soul-searching during this dire run. Coyle pointed to the pre-season loss to injury of influential midfielders Stuart Holden and Chung-Yong Lee and insisted he believes himself to be a better manager than ever.

"Yeah, well, I look back and ask myself how I could have stopped two players suffering broken legs and everything else," said Coyle sarcastically. "What is it that you want to know – am I as good a manager as I have always been before? The answer is 'probably better'."

Gartside and Davies do appear to fully accept Coyle's plan of treating this campaign as a season of "transition" while waiting for the contracts of 13 first-team players to expire next summer. They all clearly foresee a considerable, and much-needed, rebuilding job at the end of the season.

"I know what they have said to me," said Coyle. "I have a terrific relationship with them and they know what I am putting in place at this football club. Because that is behind the scenes, a lot of people don't see that. [But] we know it is about points, because no matter all the pieces of the jigsaw you might be putting in place, that has to be done on the back of good results. I know that."

Figures of derision: rivals' form

25 per cent: The percentage of games Blackburn have won with Steve Kean as manager – his predecessor Sam Allardyce had 35 per cent in his time in charge.

6 The number of victories Bolton have had in all competitions since they were defeated 5-0 by Stoke in the FA Cup semi-final in April.

12 Blackburn are two points worse off at this stage than when they were relegated in 1998-99, when they had 12 points after 16 games.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
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

Major medical journal Lancet under attack for 'extremist hate propaganda' over its coverage of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict

Lancet accused of 'anti-Israel hate propaganda' over coverage of Gaza conflict

Threat to free speech as publishers of renowned medical journal are accused of inciting hatred and violence
General Election 2015: Tories and Lib Dems throw their star names west to grab votes

All noisy on the Lib Dems' western front

The party has deployed its big guns in Cornwall to save its seats there. Simon Usborne heads to the heart of the battle
How Etsy became a crafty little earner: The online market has been floated for £1.2bn, but can craft and capitalism coexist?

How Etsy became a crafty little earner

The online market has been floated for £1.2bn, but can craft and capitalism coexist?
Guy Ritchie is the latest filmmaker to tackle King Arthur - one of our most versatile heroes

King Arthur is inspiring Guy Ritchie

Raluca Radulescu explains why his many permutations - from folk hero to chick-lit hunk - never cease to fascinate
Apple Watch: Will it live up to expectations for the man or woman on the street?

Apple Watch: Will it live up to expectations?

The Apple Watch has apparently sold millions even before its launch tomorrow
Don't fear the artichoke: it's a good cook's staple, with more choice than you'd think

Don't fear the artichoke

Artichokes are scary - they've got spikes and hairy bits, and British cooks tend to give them a wide berth. But they're an essential and delicious part of Italian cuisine
11 best men's socks

11 best men's socks

Make a statement with your accessories, starting from the bottom up
Paul Scholes column: Eden Hazard would be my Player of the Year – but I wonder if he has that appetite for goals of Messi or Ronaldo

Paul Scholes column

Hazard would be my Player of the Year – but I wonder if he has that appetite for goals of Messi or Ronaldo
Frank Warren: Tyson Fury will be closely watching Wladimir Klitschko... when he wins it'll be time to do a deal

Frank Warren's Ringside

Tyson Fury will be closely watching Wladimir Klitschko... when he wins it'll be time to do a deal
London Marathon 2015: Kenya's brothers in arms Wilson Kipsang and Dennis Kimetto ready to take on world

Kenya's brothers in arms take on world

Last year Wilson Kipsang had his marathon record taken off him by training partner and friend Dennis Kimetto. They talk about facing off in the London Marathon
Natalie Bennett interview: I've lost track of the last time I saw my Dad but it's not because I refuse to fly

Natalie Bennett interview: I've lost track of the last time I saw my Dad

Green leader prefers to stay clear of her 'painful' family memories but is more open about 'utterly unreasonable' personal attacks
Syria conflict: Khorasan return with a fresh influx of fighters awaiting the order to start 'shooting the birds'

Khorasan is back in Syria

America said these al-Qaeda militants were bombed out of the country last year - but Kim Sengupta hears a different story
General Election 2015: Is William Cash the man to woo Warwickshire North for Ukip?

On the campaign trail with Ukip

Is William Cash the man to woo Warwickshire North?
Four rival Robin Hood movies get Hollywood go-head - and Friar Tuck will become a superhero

Expect a rush on men's tights

Studios line up four Robin Hoods productions
Peter Kay's Car Share: BBC show is the comedian's first TV sitcom in a decade

In the driving seat: Peter Kay

Car Share is the comedian's first TV sitcom in a decade. The programme's co-creator Paul Coleman reveals the challenges of getting the show on the road