Sunday, 11 December 2011

Coyle Praying To Keep His Job


Regular church-goer Owen Coyle must be praying losing to 2-1 to Aston Villa is not going to earn him the sack.

The Bolton boss saw his side beaten again at the Reebok, this time to a Villa team previously incapable of securing victory on their travels and finding it hard to score.


But goals from Marc Albrighton and Stiliyan Petrov sent Wanderers crashing to the bottom of the Premier League.


Coyle said: “There is no getting away from the result. Disappointed is an understatement.


“We are at home, looking to win the game. It is certainly a horrible feeling sitting here now. We conspired in our downfall. The first goal had four or five individual mistakes in it. The second goal is a good strike from Petrov.


“At half-time I asked them to show some hunger and desire. They did that but we need to do it for the whole game.


“I just want players to care as much as I do for the club.”


Bolton have been falling over themselves to give rivals the points on their home turf – literally in this game.


Early on, Gary Cahill took a tumble to let Charles N’Zogbia race clear down the left.


He squared to Petrov, six yards out but the midfielder side-footed wide of the target.


Next it was Paul Robinson, going down as if a sniper had picked him out. That let Albrighton in and he found Darren Bent.


But the striker failed to guide his shot past Jussi Jaaskelainen.


N’Zogbia failed to take advantage of more sloppy defending, sending a volley over the top.


But Albrighton eased the tension with a 33rd-minute opener – with Bolton again opened up down the flanks.


Agbonlahor skipped past Dedryck Boyata and drilled a low ball across the box for the winger to crash home. Villa had waited five-and-a-half hours for that goal.


It took six minutes for the next one to arrive as Petrov made amends for his earlier shocker.


He crashed a low shot at goal and enjoyed a spot of luck as it caught the boot of Cahill. The deflection beat Jaaskelainen.


Brad Guzan reacted brilliantly to block Cahill’s header but it did not subdue the mauling Bolton received as they traipsed off at the interval.


They got more earache from Coyle. All of a sudden the passion and determination that was glaringly absent in the first half made an appearance.


Chris Eagles had Guzan flying through the air to tip away his shot.


Bolton needed a breakthrough and got it from a predictable source – arch predator Ivan Klasnic.


Zat Knight’s weak shot saw the ball ping around the penalty box, before the Croat whipped the ball home for his seventh goal of the season.


Belief stormed back through Bolton’s veins.


But Petrov broke down the right and cut the ball back for Bent. 

 
The spirited Cahill chucked himself in the way to concede a corner.


How Bolton needed to make the most of the reprieve and Mark Davies had the chance to do just that when a ball dropped to him 20 yards out.


Guzan should have been worried – instead it was a fan in Row Z who was panicking as his wayward shot flew over. Bolton had blown it, once again.


Villa boss Alex McLeish said: “I’m delighted to get a first away win of the season. It’s been a long time coming. Well done to the players for digging deep.


“That’s a credit to their mental strength.

 

“Charles N’Zgobia gave us a performance we have been used to seeing over the years.”

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