Survival takes priority over the Cup for Bolton Wanderers
8:50am Tuesday 23rd February 2010 in Latest
OWEN Coyle will sacrifice the FA Cup to help keep Wanderers in the Premier League.
Bolton take on Tottenham at White Hart Lane in tomorrow’s night fifth round replay.
Coyle is set to ring the changes in order to boost the Reebok club’s survival push.
Sunday’s lacklustre derby defeat at Blackburn has left Wanderers stuck in the bottom three.
And a hectic run of five games in 16 days has left several of the players desperately in need of a break ahead of the weekend’s critical home game with Wolverhampton.
Stuart Holden, Jlloyd Samuel, Tamir Cohen, Mark Davies, Andy O'Brien, Ali Al Habsi and Mustapha Riga will all come into the manager’s thoughts, while Ivan Klasnic could start as he continues his recovery from a calf injury.
But Coyle will be without on-loan duo Vladimir Weiss and Jack Wilshere who are cup-tied.
“I had always planned that one or two needed a game,” he said.
“We have had an extended run of games at such high intensity — and that’s no excuse for what happened at Blackburn, I still expect better than that — but it’s fair to say one or two need a game.
“Stuart Holden will come into my thoughts, so will Jlloyd Samuel, and we’ll take it from there.”
Victory against Tottenham would see Bolton reach the quarter-finals of the FA Cup for the first time since 2005.
But Kevin Davies admits it is a game Wanderers could do without.
“It’s not one we particularly need,” said the capatin. “I don’t know whether the manager will make one or two changes, and we do want to progress, but there’s no doubt Saturday is a massive game for us.
“There’s been a lot of tough fixtures but I think a lot of that can be down to the mental side of things.
“When you are losing games, or not getting what you should from them, it can really take its toll.
“If we had scored early on against Blackburn the result would have been very different, so it shows just how important the mental side is.”
Davies, who has scored seven times in his last eight games against Spurs, insists it is still a match Wanderers want to win.
He added: “We have worked hard to get to this stage of the cup, so it would be a shame to throw it away.
“There are a good half a dozen of players who are pushing hard and want to feature.
“Whether they will get that chance I don’t know but I am sure it’s something the manager is thinking about.”
Wanderers second string return to action tonight when they travel to Everton in the Barclays Premier League Reserve North.