Bolton manager Owen Coyle is not fazed by the club’s mounting injury problems as he looks to end the season in a Europa League spot.
Coyle will be missing a host of first team regulars when he takes his seventh-placed side to Birmingham at the weekend, with Mark Davis, Sam Ricketts and Stuart Holden all on the sidelines.
However the 44-year-old Scot believes possible replacements Fabrice Muamba and Tamir Cohen can use this opportunity to stake a claim for a permanent place in the starting line-up.
“We’ve shown before when we’ve picked up serious injuries that the lads can cope with it,” said Coyle
“What it does is allow somebody to step into the fray and show their quality.”
Midfielder Holden’s absence, with cruciate ligament damage, is arguably Bolton’s biggest blow and he has only returned to club action this season after a long spell out with a broken leg.
However Coyle is confident the 25-year-old will come back stronger from the setback which has ruled him out for six months.
“Stuart is obviously disappointed by what has happened to him, and what happened to him last year when he had a broken leg.”
“He managed to bounce back at the very end of the season to go to the World Cup so he knows how difficult it can be when you’re injured.”
“But he has such a positive mindset and we encourage him in that to make sure, when he comes back, he comes back bigger and better. He did that the last time and he will again.”
“He’s set for a glittering career, so, as disappointing as it is for him now, I’ve told him he’s got to look at the bigger picture and know he’s got so much to look forward to.”
Coyle had better news this week in the shape of Gary Cahill, who shone on his first senior start for England in Tuesday’s 1-1 draw with Ghana, and his manager is sure it will not be his last.
“People have said he looked like a top player, that’s because he is a top player,” Coyle continued.
“What England need are players at the back to pass the ball out to them, and there will be none better at that than Gary Cahill, because he’s so comfortable on the ball.”