Football

Bolton Wanderers Vs Chelsea, Sun 2 Oct 2011

Coyle staying positive (©PAphotos)
Coyle staying positive (©PAphotos).

Live Team Sheet

Chelsea: Petr Cech, Jose Bosingwa, David Luiz, John Terry, Ashley Cole, Ramires, Raul Meireles, Frank Lampard, Daniel Sturridge, Didier Drogba, Juan Mata.

Subs: 22 Ross Turnbull, 2 Branislav Ivanovic, 6 Oriol Romeu, 12 John Mikel Obi, 15 Florent Malouda, 18 Romelu Lukaku, 39 Nicolas Anelka.

Bollton: Bogdan; Steinsson, Boyata, Cahill, Robinson; Reo-Coker, Pratley, Gardner; Petrov, Ngog, K Davies.

Subs: Lainton, Vela, Knight, Muamba, Eagles, M Davies, Tuncay.



The fighter in Owen Coyle goes into battle with Chelsea on Sunday bearing the scars of a wretched start to the season, but confident he will eventually come out smiling.

A lengthy injury list and a difficult run of fixtures means Bolton and boss Coyle head into their Reebok Stadium clash with the Blues rock bottom of the Barclays Premier League.

Bolton have lost five of their six league games to date - 10 of 11 if you take the end of last season into consideration - and against Chelsea their record is even worse.

The Trotters have suffered eight consecutive losses on home soil to Chelsea, failing to find the net even once, and conceding 20 goals in the process.

Coyle is already without a number of long-term injured, with the casualty list compounded this week when it was announced midfielder Stuart Holden faces another six months on the sidelines with a knee problem.

To add to his woes, on-loan Gael Kakuta is ineligible as he cannot face his parent club, David Wheater and Ivan Klasnic are suspended, and goalkeeper Jussi Jaaskelainen is doubtful with a leg knock.

Throw in the fact that come the end of Sunday Bolton will have played Chelsea, Manchester United, Manchester City, Liverpool and Arsenal in their first seven games, and it is easy to see why Coyle is currently rolling with the punches.

"It's easy for me to stay positive because I know exactly how this game works. I've had a career in it," Coyle told Press Association Sport.

"I know at different times there are trials and tribulations, that you get a smack in the teeth and it's not particularly nice.

"But I also know you can feel the other side of it, and when you do that and you've earned wins when you and the club have not been in an ideal position, there's a sense of overcoming an obstacle.

"It then becomes a case of `right, where's the next one, let's go and overcome that again`.

"But no matter where I've been, even as a player, I've always had to fight and go and earn whatever has come my away, and I'm quite prepared to go and do that again.

"We realise we've been beset by horrible injuries, real traumas in terms of how long the players will be out - Chung-yong Lee, Stuart Holden, and with another five or six on top of that.

"Then there has been the set of fixtures we've been given, but that is the nature of football.

"If you are going to let something like that get you down then you shouldn't be in the game."

Daniel Sturridge could return to the Chelsea line-up having missed last Saturday's win over Swansea and Wednesday night's Champions League draw at Valencia with a knee injury.

The forward knows Coyle well after spending the second half of last season on loan at Bolton.

Sturridge looks set for a recall along with Didier Drogba, due to the start of a three-match ban for Fernando Torres following his red card against Swansea.

Sturridge told Chelsea TV: "I enjoyed my time at Bolton and I have a lot of love for the players and a lot of love for the manager especially, because he gave me the opportunities to showcase what I can do and I don't think I would be in the position I am in now without going to Bolton and without the manager there showing faith in me.

"He is a funny character and not just Owen but his staff also, they get involved in training every day and you see the manager scoring goals and celebrating and throwing remarks about. He knows how to motivate a team and he knows how to motivate individuals.

"I can't speak highly enough of him and the way he likes to play his football."

Meanwhile, Chelsea boss Andre Villas-Boas has dismissed the impact of Manchester United playing before his side in five of the next six Barclays Premier League weekends.

The opening six rounds of top-flight fixtures saw the Blues kick-off before United on five occasions, the other match being the sides' Old Trafford encounter.

That schedule arguably allowed Chelsea to put pressure on the champions but the roles will be reversed during the next two months, starting on Saturday when United host Norwich, with Villas-Boas' men at the Reebok Stadium 24 hours later.

But Villas-Boas said: "You don't go 'six points behind'. You go 'six points behind having played one game less'.

"Or maybe you go three points behind and you have a chance to equal the points."

end

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Topics:
Football
Bolton Wanderers
Chelsea
Premier League

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