Coyle shows his tough love

Bolton stand ins make the most of their chance in first-team

Owen Coyle: Showed he was not afraid to make changes and leave players out

David Wheater: Bolton defender making the most of his opportunity in the first team

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Owen Coyle has told the Bolton players left out of the squad for the win over Wigan that they have only themselves to blame.

The Trotters had lost their previous six league games before springing into life at the DW Stadium where they triumphed over Wigan 3-1.

In need of a remedy, Coyle sought to shake things up and left Gretar Steinsson and Fabrice Muamba out of the squad, while Zat Knight could only find a place on the bench.

However, the end justified the means as Bolton stopped their early season rot to climb off the foot of the table.


"I don't put them out of the team; their performances put them out of the team," Coyle told the Bolton Evening News.

"If they don't get to the standard, I have got to recognise there is someone else waiting in the wings.

"There weren't enough players playing to the top of their ability to say: 'I am in charge of that jersey'.

"It's not easy leaving players out of the 18, never mind the 11. What I have said is when you get the jersey; it's up to you to put in a performance to keep it."


David Wheater justified his selection ahead of Knight with a composed performance at the heart of the Bolton defence which earned him the man-of-the-match gong.

"I felt it was only right that David came back in because he had been so unlucky to get sent off against Arsenal and had played so well against Aston Villa," he added.

"Zat Knight came on against Chelsea and did well, so he might feel a little bit unfortunate in that respect.

"But having said that, a lot of them had the jersey before and had not done their best to make a claim and stay in the team. If you play well, you stay in my team."