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.

News
Mickey Rourke celebrates his victory against opponent Elliot Seymour
people
News
Gordon and Tana Ramsay arrive at the High Court, London
newsTV chef gives evidence against his father-in-law in court case
News
Actor Burt Reynolds last year
people
News
people

Watch the spoof Thanksgiving segment filmed for Live!
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
The data shows that the number of “unlawfully” large infant classes has doubled in the last 12 months alone
i100Mike Stuchbery, a teacher in Great Yarmouth, said he received abuse
Arts and Entertainment
The starship in Star Wars: The Force Awakens
filmsThe first glimpse of JJ Abrams' new film has been released online
Arts and Entertainment
The cover of The Guest Cat – expect to see it everywhere
books
News
i100 Charity collates series of videos that show acts of kindness to animals
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

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: ‘We give them hope. They come to us when no one else can help’

Christmas Appeal

Meet the charity giving homeless veterans hope – and who they turn to when no one else can help
Should doctors and patients learn to plan humane, happier endings rather than trying to prolong life?

Is it always right to try to prolong life?

Most of us would prefer to die in our own beds, with our families beside us. But, as a GP, Margaret McCartney sees too many end their days in a medicalised battle
Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night - is that what it takes for women to get to the top?

What does it take for women to get to the top?

Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night and told women they had to do more if they wanted to get on
Christmas jumper craze: Inside the UK factory behind this year's multicultural must-have

Knitting pretty: British Christmas Jumpers

Simmy Richman visits Jack Masters, the company behind this year's multicultural must-have
French chefs have launched a campaign to end violence in kitchens - should British restaurants follow suit?

French chefs campaign against bullying

A group of top chefs signed a manifesto against violence in kitchens following the sacking of a chef at a Paris restaurant for scalding his kitchen assistant with a white-hot spoon
Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour War and Peace on New Year's Day as Controller warns of cuts

Just what you need on a New Year hangover...

Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour adaptation of War and Peace on first day of 2015
Cuba set to stage its first US musical in 50 years

Cuba to stage first US musical in 50 years

Claire Allfree finds out if the new production of Rent will hit the right note in Havana
Christmas 2014: 10 best educational toys

Learn and play: 10 best educational toys

Of course you want them to have fun, but even better if they can learn at the same time
Paul Scholes column: I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season

Paul Scholes column

I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season
Lewis Moody column: Stuart Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

Lewis Moody: Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

So what must the red-rose do differently? They have to take the points on offer 
Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

Sarkozy returns

The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game