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Bolton V Swansea at Reebok Stadium : Match Preview
Published : 20 Apr 2012 14:31:25Rss feed
Coyle shrugs off fixture backlog
Bolton boss Owen Coyle shrugged off his side's fixture backlog as just another thing that has gone against them this season and set his sights on three points at home to Swansea. The Trotters have had to sit and watch while fellow strugglers Wigan put together back-to-back wins over Manchester United and Arsenal, with their scheduled Premier League clash against Tottenham last weekend postponed because of Spurs' FA Cup involvement. Bolton therefore head into Saturday's clash in 18th position in the Barclays Premier League table, two points behind QPR and five adrift of Wigan but with two games in hand. Their run of bad luck began before the start of the season when star winger Lee Chung-yong suffered a double leg fracture, and he was soon joined on the long-term injury list by playmaker Stuart Holden. An extremely tough run of fixtures to start the campaign put them on the back foot straight away, and they have also had to deal with the trauma of Fabrice Muamba's on-pitch cardiac arrest last month, although the midfielder's progress since has been truly remarkable.
Coyle said: "You've got to hand enormous credit to Wigan for the way they've gone about their job. But the bottom line is it didn't matter what anyone else did. We'll shape our own destiny and it's in our own hands. "We've got six games left as opposed to everyone else having four and what we've got to do is gather the points that will keep us in the Barclays Premier League, and we're more than capable of doing that. "Ideally we'd have loved to have been playing but it's one of the uncontrollables over the season that has gone against us. "But we've never got too down or felt sorry for ourselves, we've got a smile on our face. There's 18 points out there and we've got to gather as many as we can." Coyle was reluctant to put a figure on the points tally that will be needed to stay up this year, saying: "We need to make sure we get one more point than three other teams. "If you asked people two months ago what the points target was it would certainly have been lower than what some teams are on now because everybody in and around us, as well as ourselves, have picked up." Coyle is hoping a couple of players will overcome knocks ahead of kick-off but Gregg Wylde is likely to remain unavailable, with Bolton still waiting for clearance from FIFA for the former Rangers winger.
Swansea manager Brendan Rodgers wants the club to move up a level in their transfer targets this summer but accepts it will not mean millions more will be lavished on players. The Swans boss can afford to think bigger and better with the club all but mathematically sure of top-flight football next season, which will bring in another £40million. And if they want to maintain the progress they have shown in their maiden Barclays Premier League campaign, Rodgers believes they have to look at investing in the squad. "We are not all of a sudden going to go out and spend millions and millions on players but we will do everything we can to bring players in who can make a difference for us," he said. "And it would be nice if we are able to do a little bit more (in terms of finances) this summer. "You look at us this season, at the quality we have produced, and it would be great if we had the opportunity to keep on progressing. "Because of how we work here it's reasonably straightforward to find the players with the DNA we want, but then it is about affordability and availability." Swansea head to Bolton looking to make absolutely certain of their survival, although it would take a bizarre string of results for their current points tally of 42 not to be enough with four matches remaining. They are currently 13 points clear of Wanderers, who occupy 18th place but have two matches in hand. "It has been a wonderful return in terms of points," said Rodgers.
"Ultimately our goal was to stay in the league, so to be in this position with four games remaining leaves us very proud. "But we want to improve and we still have plenty of improvements to make. "What's more, we are still not mathematically safe. "It won't be difficult to motivate the players in the final games. We have come off a wonderful learning experience of late. "They are very motivated to finish the season strongly and they will be up for every game between now and the end of the season. "There are many reasons why we want to finish as high as possible. The finance involved at this level is incredible and every place counts for a lot and for a club like ourselves, that extra place could go towards an extra player. "And for the players, the higher they finish, they more they get in terms of a bonus - and those bonuses will be well deserved."
Bolton V Swansea - view commentary, squad, and statictics of the game live.
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