Coyle is up for the fight

First published in Sport

OWEN Coyle will not be moping around, despite the pressure mounting on his position at the Reebok.

Saturday’s 3-1 defeat at Hull City left the Whites with just four points from their opening four games and prompted sections of angry supporters to call for a change in management.

Chairman Phil Gartside also went public with his own frustration at the club’s early-season results – heightening the speculation that Coyle’s job will be in jeopardy without an upturn in form.

Much could now hinge on an upcoming run of three games in seven days against Watford, Birmingham and Sheffield Wednesday after the international break.

But while Coyle has pledged to use the next week to mull over what has gone wrong, he refuses to allow the situation to weigh him down.

“If you start feeling sorry for yourself then you are in the wrong game,” he said. “This will be a long fortnight, no doubt about it, and after every game you lose, you go and analyse every situation that has come about.

“I’m no different and I’ll do that. But there’s no doubt in my mind that we can turn results round because we have the players here to do that.”

Coyle may have reason to believe he can turn round Wanderers ’ form after performing a similar trick at Burnley in the year he guided the Clarets to promotion.

After taking just two points from the first four games, the Turf Moor men turned things round to be fourth at Christmas before eventually beating Sheffield United in the 2009 play-off final at Wembley to claim their place in the Premier League.

Wanderers’ poor results extend well beyond the current campaign, however, and since the FA Cup semi-final defeat to Stoke City in April 2011, Coyle’s side have won 12, drawn seven and lost 30 of their league games. That run, and consequent relegation, has made for a steady decline in the manager’s popularity on the terraces, leading to a breaking point of sorts on Saturday at the KC Stadium.

Coyle accepted the criticism at the weekend and remains convinced he can still swing things his way by guiding the club on a run of good results that would take them back up the Championship table.

“You know my feelings for Bolton Wanderers and that will never, ever change,” he said. “And as the manager and the custodian of a football club then you know you want to make sure you've got the club where they feel they should be. That's something I don't take lightly.

“When you are a player you can feel 'I've played well' or maybe 'I've not played so well' but I can assure you the feeling as a manager is magnified by some 10,000 times. “I want everyone smiling and being in a good place but I accept that at this moment in time we are not there.”

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