Our strikers can keep us up
OWEN Coyle insists he has enough firepower at his disposal to get Wanderers out of relegation trouble.
With a free weekend coming up, the Whites boss has taken his team away to Dubai for a short break to help sharpen minds ahead of a six-game run that will decide the club’s Premier League fate.
Despite failing to score in defeats to Fulham and Newcastle over the Easter weekend, Coyle is backing his strikers – David Ngog, Kevin Davies, Ivan Klasnic and Marvin Sordell – to come back from their sunshine break firing on all cylinders.
“We have got people who can score goals,” he said. “You can have facts and stats about strikers not scoring but they don’t show that the team is creating chances, great ones.
“Take the first half hour out of the equation against Fulham and I think we have been terrific for large parts of the last two games, even though I accept they are games we have lost.
“I accept when they come you have to be clinical, be ruthless, because the Premier League can be unforgiving.
“But I have no doubt that in the next six games we will get the goals to help us get the points that we need.”
Kevin Davies had netted twice in his last two games prior to the Fulham game, but both Klasnic and Ngog have struggled for goals in 2012, with two of the three goals they have shared coming against lower league opposition in the FA Cup.
Sordell has featured only briefly since his £3.2million move from Watford in January and remained on the bench at St James’ Park as Ngog and Klasnic were sent on to chase a result.
That Wanderers didn’t get anything from their last two games means they went into their fixture break with only a one-point cushion on the bottom three.
Coyle admits there have been signs of strain in his squad following a rollercoaster 30-day spell that took in eight games, including the FA Cup tie at Spurs abandoned because of Fabrice Muamba’s collapse.
He feels, however, that a team bonding exercise in the Middle East - where the club recently opened an International Soccer School - will prove beneficial in the relegation run-in.
“We went to Newcastle - a team in form chasing Champions League football in front of 50,000 fans and showed we were up for the fight,” he said. “If we hadn’t done that, maybe you would have been more worried.
“If we carry on like that then I know we have got enough quality to stay in this league.
“The players have been a credit to themselves in how they have dealt with everything that has happened over the past month, mentally and physically, and it has been tough.
“But we are away for a few days now and I think what they need is a bit of sun on their back, and then we are back again for six important games.”