Bolton boss Owen Coyle insists his side are staying positive despite winning only once in their past five games.The recent poor results, which include their 5-0 FA Cup semi-final loss to Stoke, have seen them drop from challenging for Europe to ninth in the Premier League.
But Coyle says his players are still full of self-belief as they head into Saturday’s game at Blackpool and the Scot hopes his players will thrive in a game that Ian Holloway’s side need to win to boost their survival chances.
“The mood is very positive because if you look at the Sunderland game (which Bolton lost 2-1) we were terrific,” Coyle said.
“We created enough chances to have won three games so there was much to be pleased about.”
“The disappointment was that we lost a goal in the 94th minute, but the lads have been magnificent this season.”
“Now what we have to do is finish strongly and look to get as many points as we can in the last two games, recognising that Blackpool on Saturday will be fighting for their lives.”
“That alone would show they’re very dangerous opponents, outside the fact they have the ability to go with that, as they’ve shown all season. So we know we’re in for a tough afternoon.”
“It’s a derby game, but that’s what we like, we love games with a big atmosphere. Hopefully that will bring the best out of the players.”
“We’re going to have to work ever so hard and match everything they bring in terms of their enthusiasm and their quality, but we’ve shown we can go toe-to-toe with the best, and that’s what we have to do.”
“I would suggest he would be in the running even if he didn’t keep them up.
Ollie’s somebody I know well, somebody I’ve got so much time for, and Blackpool have been terrific.”
“He’s done a magnificent job, as he did bringing them into the Barclays Premier League, and I know how difficult that is. No doubt he’ll have his lads really motivated.”
But Coyle admits his side need to arrest their slump in form before the end of the season.
“In this league the margins are so fine,” he said.
“Teams can lose a couple of games together, what you have to do is try to nip that in the bud and make sure it’s not long term.”
“We’ve got the opportunity to win the game.”
Coyle will have to do without midfielder Mark Davies, who has undergone ankle surgery and will miss the rest of the season.