Bolton manager Owen Coyle has insisted that Daniel Sturridge’s absence will not have a huge bearing on Sunday’s FA Cup semi-final against Stoke.The in-form striker has been forced to sit out the Wembley encounter because of the terms of his loan contract.
The 21-year-old has scored six goals in eight games since joining the Reebok outfit on loan from Chelsea at the end of January.
But as Coyle’s side face the biggest game of their season at Wembley, they will have to make do without the former Manchester City man.
Coyle, however, is not worried by the absence of his most lethal attacking force.
“(We’ll replace Sturridge) as we’ve done before. Daniel joined us in January and he’s done terrific in the games he’s played,” he said.
“But Daniel wasn’t there at Wigan when we won, he wasn’t there at Fulham when we won, he wasn’t there at Birmingham when we scored three goals away from home again.”
“So whoever comes in to replace Daniel will be a quality player and we have to make sure that we’re at our best.”
Having smashed three goals past West Ham United last weekend, Bolton enter the game high on confidence and Coyle believes it is imperative his side reach England’s greatest cup showpiece if they are to progress.
“I think very much so (we’re on high confidence), it was not only a valuable three points (against West Ham) that put us in a very nice position in the league but the performance was of a very high standard,” he said.
“That’s what we’ll need again and I’ve said it everybody, we want to go and certainly give everything because 15 months ago when we took over we were favourites for relegation in the bottom three.”
“We managed to obviously progress that and, having spent little or no money, we’ve managed to progress this year and that’s what we have to do.”
As well as Sturridge, Coyle will be without Stuart Holden, Sean Davis and Sam Ricketts but Mark Davies (ankle) is expected to return.