Coyle can't put number on survival

09 March 2010 08:40
Wanderers have given their survival hopes a significant boost with back-to-back victories over Wolves and West Ham in their last two league encounters, results which have put them five points clear of the relegation zone with 10 games left to play.

Going into Tuesday night's match at Sunderland lying 13th on 29 points, Coyle's side appear to be within touching distance of securing their top-flight status, but the manager is refusing to set any specific numerical targets.

Asked what he felt would be the required points tally to guarantee safety, Coyle said: "I'm not being evasive, but I really do just look to the next game.

"I think it's folly to look too far ahead and think that amount of points will keep you safe or won't.

"You won't know that until the last game of the season, so what we do is concentrate on the old cliche - it's one game at a time, it really is.

"What we do know is that game by game, if we do pick up points, that will serve our purpose well."

Bolton will be looking to extend their winning run against a struggling Sunderland side who have the opportunity to consolidate their place around the middle of the table over the next few days, although Coyle is wary of the fact that his side could just as easily find themselves slipping back into the mire if they do not keep up their good form.

"It was a valuable three points (against West Ham) on the back of the Wolves victory and it elevated us up the league slightly, but we are under no illusions how quickly football can change," Coyle said. "We are pleased to get the win and I always felt it was coming anyway given the level of performance we were offering up, and we showed that from the first whistle.

"But it is behind us, we can't affect it, and what we can affect is what's in front of us.

"We have got a massive game now at Sunderland, a quality side with some top players, and a magnificent stadium with a great set of supporters.

"We all accept that they have been on an indifferent run, but there is no doubt that Steve Bruce is a top-class manager."

Mark Davies could return for Bolton, having missed the last three matches with an ankle problem.

Tamir Cohen is suspended after he was sent off against West Ham and Gary Cahill is not expected back in full training for another week as he continues his recovery following the discovery of a blood clot in his arm.

Stuart Holden, Gavin McCann, Chris Basham, Joey O'Brien and Sean Davis are also still sidelined.

Sunderland 11/10, Draw 12/5, Bolton 5/2  

Source: Team_Talk