Coyle could turn to Vela

Injury crisis for Bolton ahead of crucial Villa clash

Owen Coyle: Has limited midfield options so could be set to hand start to youngster Josh Vela

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Bolton boss Owen Coyle insists he has no worries about throwing teenager Josh Vela into their relegation dogfight at Aston Villa on Tuesday.

The 18-year-old midfielder made his Premier League debut as a late substitute for the injured Mark Davies in the 1-1 draw with Swansea on Saturday.

The Trotters are four points from safety but have two games in hand on their rivals and Tuesday's game is an opportunity to drag Villa into the battle at teh bottom.

With Davies a doubt, Darren Pratley unavailable through illness and Lee Chung-yong and Stuart Holden long-term injury victims, Coyle could be forced into utilising Vela.

And Coyle is determined to see the latest crisis as an opportunity for one of the club's brightest young talents.

Coyle said: "You're always worried when somebody comes off late on with a knock. So we'll look at that and then pick the best team we've got available to go and win a tough game at Aston Villa.

"Josh is going to be a top player for this football club - there's no doubt about it. And if it comes to it then it won't faze us because he has the ability.

"People moan but the stars always shine brightest in darkness so this is the time for people to stand up."


Coyle opted to move Chris Eagles into the centre of midfield on Saturday and the switch reaped rewards when he netted the equaliser.

But Coyle insists it is typical of the difficulties he has had to overcome all season.

"They've been dropping like flies all season long," he added.

"We started the season with leg breaks and cruciate ligaments and everything else, and that's just the story of the season, but we'll continue to get on with it.

"It's not ideal. Darren Pratley had a viral complaint and he wasn't fit enough to be in the squad so we were left with Nigel (Reo-Coker) and Mark Davies.

"We had to change our shape accordingly. Chris Eagles came in and I thought did very well in that role and could have won it late on. He looks as if he's got the bit between his teeth and that's what we need."

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