IT'S a distinct possibility that Owen Coyle will go through the entire of this season without ever being able to name his strongest team.

Already missing key players such as Chung-Yong Lee, Stuart Holden, Sean Davis and Tyrone Mears long term – the Wanderers squad has been thinned out even further just recently as Joe Riley, Ricardo Gardner and David Ngog added their presence to a crowded treatment room at Euxton.

By his own admission, the run of bad luck has been about enough to drive Coyle to despair.

But as his side prepare for the latest in a string of high-pressure games, and the visit of Everton, the Whites boss is adamant he still has the tools to guide the club out of the bottom three.

“I’ve been in football a long time as a player, coach or manager, as you can tell by the grey hairs, but I’ve never known anything as severe as this, especially with the long term injuries, which are incredible,” he said of the mounting injury list, which has until recently also included Sam Ricketts and Dedryck Boyata, who are now feeling their way back towards a first team return.

“It seems to have been a catalogue of injuries one after the other – and it has even spread to the youngsters, with Josh Vela fracturing his ankle against Blackburn reserves the other night.“It’s fair to say a number of those players who are injured would start in our team. They are not available yet and they won’t be for the foreseeable future.

“But there’s no point moaning, we just have to get on with it and make sure we’re at our best.”

Just as much of an obstacle as the injury list has been the fact that key players have dropped in and out of form this season at the Reebok.

Last week’s Jekyll and Hyde performance at West Brom was a case in point, and, while Coyle looks likely to shuffle his limited pack again this weekend, he is confident that the players he currently has at his disposal are capable of turning things round.

“We haven’t got a big squad and we don’t have the luxury that some of the elite clubs have, and replace injured players with those at the same level of quality,” he said.

“But we do have good players and those who can win games in this league.

“I’m very comfortable sitting here, even though there is a stigma involved in being in the bottom three. This is where we came into this club and we’ll address this.

“People might say it’s a bit of bravado, but I’ll tell you for a fact that we’ve got players good enough to win games in this league, regardless of whose out injured. We’'ll climb the league, no doubt about that.”

Everton have hardly been a model of consistency either this season, but with David Moyes’ men now showing some green shoots of recovery after a slow start, Coyle warned that his side cannot afford to allow their standards to drop again.

“Last week we were terrific in the first half and, if we’d have won that game we would have moved up to 13th or 14th in the league,” he said. “The opportunities are there for us, and we let one go by, but Saturday gives us another one.

“We look back at the last two games and we’ve been outstanding for three quarters of them. We have to take that and provide that level of quality for the duration of the match.

“There’s no doubting it will be a tough game because Everton are a good team with a great manager, but equally it’s a game I think we can win.

“The atmosphere at the Reebok last time was fantastic and something we’ve become accustomed to all last season and that’s what we want again. The only way we can do that is by bringing it all together.”