Burnley manager Owen Coyle has many happy memories from his playing days at Bolton but those will all be forgotten when his former club visit Turf Moor on Boxing Day.

The Scot had a spell with Wanderers between 1993 and 1995 and admits he had a "fantastic" time.

But with the situation so tight in the Barclays Premier League table - five points separate 12th from bottom - there is no place for sentimentality, not even at Christmas.

"I enjoy any game that we go and represent the club, play to our maximum and win three points," said Coyle.

"The Boxing Day game presents that opportunity against a club very close to my heart.

"I had a lot of fantastic times at Bolton and loved every minute.

"The team I played in was an exciting one which gained promotion to the Premier League and had tremendous cup runs.

"They were great times, really happy days, but my focus is on Burnley.

"Our priorities are to get three points for Burnley and make sure we continue to turn up."

Coyle sees similarities between his former and current clubs, whom he believes have contributed greatly to the English game.

"Bolton are a fantastic club with great supporters and have a lot of similarities with ourselves," he added.

"We are two clubs from the old school with tremendous history and tradition."

Coyle also feels it is up to him and his team to repay the Turf Moor faithful by ensuring their Christmas festivities are not cut short by a poor performance on Boxing Day.

He also wants to sign off in style a year which has seen the Clarets win promotion to the Premier League and pull off a number of shocks in the top flight - the biggest being the defeat of champions Manchester United in their opening home match of the campaign.

The one stain on their season so far is their poor away record, which has seen them take just one point from a possible 27.

"The players will, of course, train on Christmas Day. We recognise it is a huge day for everyone but we have to make sure we are at our best," he said.

"Boxing Day is a fantastic fixture with everyone in good spirits but what we have to make sure is that they leave in good spirits and to do that we have to get to our best."

Gary Megson will be staggered if Bolton are left twiddling their thumbs again for the second time in six days.

Megson and his players were left to contemplate Christmas in the bottom three of the Premier League after Monday's match at Wigan was postponed due to severe icy conditions around the DW Stadium that made it unsafe for spectators.

Despite a perfectly-playable pitch, Burnley are apparently facing similar problems at Turf Moor where they have hired a JCB to help clear away the snow and ice as Britain continues to suffer in the grip of the big freeze.

Unlike the Latics, Megson feels Burnley have had ample time this week to prepare for the game, despite the unrelenting conditions.

"There is talk the local council are going to have to pull their finger out and get the surrounding area safe for everybody, which should be a priority anyway," said Megson.

"I can't see any reason why, in this day and age, if you've got six days to prepare for a game that it doesn't go ahead.

"I'm sure it will do, and I'm sure everybody in Burnley will want it to go ahead."

Megson then joked: "There's the odd conspiracy theory going about Burnley have one or two injuries and therefore the hose pipe will be turned on over the pitch.

"I think that used to happen donkey's years ago, but it doesn't happen now, certainly not in the Premier League."

The weather has caused further chaos for Megson, despite the club possessing an all-weather surface on which to train.

"Everybody has been in the same boat this week, unless you're one of the big clubs," assessed Megson.

"But we don't have an indoor facility and we don't have undersoil heating at the training ground.

"In fact, I think we're the only club in the Premier League that has an all-weather surface that's no good when the weather is bad.

Megson is forced into one change for the game with the Clarets as midfielder Fabrice Muamba will finally serve his one-game ban.

Muamba, who has collected five bookings this season, should have sat out the game at Wigan, so Chris Basham will now likely step in to face Owen Coyle's side.

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Topics:
Football
Bolton Wanderers
Premier League