Bolton concede opportunity to move nearer safety

Bolton Wanderers started the Easter weekend in the strongest position of the bottom five clubs in the Premier League. A point better off and home advantage against a mid-table Fulham side on Saturday, while their rivals all played away. But the outcome at the Reebok Stadium went badly against the home side who had strung together three wins in a row including two home wins prior to the Cottagers’ visit.

In some ways Owen Coyle’s side were fortunate given that the other three relegation contenders that played yesterday also all lost, while QPR take on Manchester United at Old Trafford today, but the fixture calendar throws Bolton back into action tomorrow, while the others have longer to prepare for home games in midweek. They must go to Newcastle United who have an eye back on qualifying for Europe next season after four consecutive wins, and a pair of clean sheets last week. Bolton can’t fancy their chances much especially given the goalscoring form Magpies’ Papiss Cisse is currently in.

After the 3-0 defeat Coyle said, “My disappointment is the goals we have conceded. The free-kick is something we don’t have to give away, and then the second right on half-time we have given away with a poor pass and Damien Duff sets up a great ball and we want defenders or midfielders to sense danger but Dempsey is allowed to run unmarked with a free header.

“Second half we changed it, we scrapped around at 2-0 without creating anything gilt-edged and we needed the next goal but then we give away another poor goal on the counter.

“But I feel that the first goal is always vital and that turned the game on its head today.”

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