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?
Life and Style
Powdered colors are displayed for sale at a market ahead of the Holi festival in Bhopal, India
techHere's what you need to know about the riotous occasion
Arts and Entertainment
Larry David and Rosie Perez in ‘Fish in the Dark’
theatreReview: Had Fish in the Dark been penned by a civilian it would have barely got a reading, let alone £10m advance sales
News
Details of the self-cleaning coating were published last night in the journal Science
science
News
Approved Food sell products past their sell-by dates at discounted prices
i100
News
Life-changing: Simone de Beauvoir in 1947, two years before she wrote 'The Second Sex', credited as the starting point of second wave feminism
peopleHer seminal feminist polemic, The Second Sex, has been published in short-form to mark International Women's Day
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 campaign: Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after £300,000 gift from Lloyds Bank

Homeless Veterans campaign

Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after huge gift from Lloyds Bank
Flight MH370 a year on: Lost without a trace – but the search goes on

Lost without a trace

But, a year on, the search continues for Flight MH370
Germany's spymasters left red-faced after thieves break into brand new secret service HQ and steal taps

Germany's spy HQ springs a leak

Thieves break into new €1.5bn complex... to steal taps
International Women's Day 2015: Celebrating the whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Simone de Beauvoir's seminal feminist polemic, 'The Second Sex', has been published in short-form for International Women's Day
Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Why would I want to employ someone I’d be happy to have as my boss, asks Simon Kelner
Confessions of a planespotter: With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent

Confessions of a planespotter

With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent. Sam Masters explains the appeal
Russia's gulag museum 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities

Russia's gulag museum

Ministry of Culture-run site 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities
The big fresh food con: Alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay

The big fresh food con

Joanna Blythman reveals the alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay
Virginia Ironside was my landlady: What is it like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7?

Virginia Ironside was my landlady

Tim Willis reveals what it's like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7
Paris Fashion Week 2015: The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp

Paris Fashion Week 2015

The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp
8 best workout DVDs

8 best workout DVDs

If your 'New Year new you' regime hasn’t lasted beyond February, why not try working out from home?
Paul Scholes column: I don't believe Jonny Evans was spitting at Papiss Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible

Paul Scholes column

I don't believe Evans was spitting at Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible
Miguel Layun interview: From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

Miguel Layun is a star in Mexico where he was criticised for leaving to join Watford. But he says he sees the bigger picture
Frank Warren column: Amir Khan ready to meet winner of Floyd Mayweather v Manny Pacquiao

Khan ready to meet winner of Mayweather v Pacquiao

The Bolton fighter is unlikely to take on Kell Brook with two superstar opponents on the horizon, says Frank Warren
War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable