OWEN Coyle hopes Wanderers can turn a fresh page after Saturday’s victory over Watford.
Pressure was eased somewhat on the Whites boss after a tense 2-1 victory fought out in front of the Reebok’s lowest league crowd in more than a decade.
Just 16,608 viewed the game, settled by first-half goals from Matt Mills and Kevin Davies , which represents the smallest gate since May 2001 when the club faced Sheffield United three weeks before sealing promotion to the Premier League via the play-offs.
That’s also the minimum outcome Coyle wants from the current campaign – and though that weight of expectation has caused problems thus far, the Scot is adamant the latest result can help the Whites turn a corner.
“You either feel sorry for yourself or you get up in the morning and are prepared to do something about it. The players have shown they are up for that fight.”
Despite clinging to three points, some fans chose to show their dissatisfaction with the performance throughout the second half.
Wanderers had been comfortable leading 2-0 at the break but allowed the Hornets back into the contest after Lloyd Doyley’s lucky cross-shot beat Adam Bogdan from 35 yards. Coyle insists the defensive resolve from there on in is reason for optimism. “All in all I’m delighted,” he said. “Their goal was the biggest fluke you’ll see in your life and there’s nothing Adam could do about it. From there we got a bit nervous, the fans got nervous. But the reaction we got from the defeat at Hull was there for everyone to see.
“That’s seven points out of nine at home. It should have been nine and if it had we would have been sitting something like third in the league. We had a lot of good performances today, which augurs well for us moving on.”
Coyle also praised on-loan Liverpool midfielder Jay Spearing for bouncing back so quickly after an eye operation to produce a commanding midfield performance.
“I could wax lyrical about Jay Spearing,” he said. “He is an outstanding player and also an outstanding lad.
“He went in for a minor operation during the international break. Tuesday morning he is the first in, ready for training. That epitomises the spirit we look for in Bolton Wanderers.
“The fans have taken to him and no wonder because he covers every blade of grass. He is such a terrific passer of the ball and he has the heart the size of a lion.”