Coyle handed Cahill boost

First published in Sport The Bolton News: Photograph of the Author by , chief football writer

OWEN Coyle hopes Gary Cahill’s one-match ban is not the only thing lifted at Wanderers this week.

The FA overturned the red card shown by referee Stuart Attwell to the England defender during the 3-0 defeat at Tottenham, leaving him clear to face his old club Aston Villa this weekend.

And while the Wanderers boss was confident the disciplinary committee would find in Cahill’s favour, he is keen to use the decision as a good omen heading into what is likely to be a season-defining run of fixtures over the next few weeks.

“You can never be 100 per cent about anything,” he said. “But we were confident that this would be the outcome.

“Hopefully that’s the end of this run of bad luck we’ve been on, with suspensions and everything else.

“These things are sent to test us. We’ve played huge chunks of three of the last five games with 10 men and that has been difficult.

“But as far as I’m concerned, the time for talking has got to stop. We have to start picking up points.

“That starts on Saturday against Aston Villa, heading into a run of games where I think we can start moving up the table and out of a position we don’t want to be in.”

Wanderers face Villa on Saturday, followed by trips to Fulham and Blackburn, and home games against Wolves and Newcastle United over the festive period.

Currently second bottom of the Premier League, a win for the Whites in their next game could see them out of the relegation zone.

And Coyle is determined to draw a line under all that has gone before – even taking heart from the fact Wanderers were handed a home draw against either Macclesfield Town or Chelmsford City in the FA Cup.

“At the weekend we got a good cup draw, even though we accept it will be a tough game regardless of who goes through, and now with Gary, that it feels a bit like a change in luck,” he said.

“But we have to take that through to the weekend.

“Everyone is staying positive – we have to – and you know we are going to work hard every day to try and turn this round.”

Another rarity for Coyle is that he has not picked up any injuries after the weekend defeat to Spurs.

“Sam Ricketts was due to play for the reserves on Monday but the game was called off,” Coyle added.

“He has trained really well this week, so to have a quality player like him back in the ranks is another big boost for us.”

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