Coyle Praises Rival Supporters

  • March 24, 2012 | By Chris Mann
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Owen Coyle has paid globing tribute to supporters of Bolton Wanderers and Blackburn Rovers following Saturday's game at the Reebok Stadium.

Despite a second half consolation from Steven Nzonzi, Coyle's Bolton ran out 2-1 winners over their Lancashire rivals thanks to a first-half double from David Wheater.

Prior to the game, tributes were made to Wanderers midfielder Fabrice Muamba, who continues to recover in hospital after collapsing as a result of a cardiac arrest during an FA Cup tie at Tottenham Hotspur last weekend.

Coyle believes both sets of supporters were a credit to their respective clubs and he admitted he was delighted to secure the three points, which move Bolton out of the Premier League's relegation zone.

"First and foremost I have got to speak about every supporter that turned up today, not just from Bolton but Blackburn Rovers too," Coyle told the club's official website. "I thought they were an absolute credit to the two football clubs.

"The game was played a manner befitting of the Barclays Premier League and as much as we got the three points, our thoughts still remain with Fabrice.

"As passionate as we are about football, we know that his well-being is far more important and we are very fortunate that Fabrice managed to send a 'good luck' message to the players. It was an emotional day.

"I had stressed to the group on Wednesday that if no one felt up for today's match, I had no problems. Fabrice is more than a team-mate to these players - he is a close friend because of his personality and character.

"I repeated it on Thursday and Friday because I had to know they were ready for the match. Every one, to a man, wanted to go out and represent Fabrice and show their quality for him. That was why we picked the same team that had beaten Queens Park Rangers in our last game here.

"Regarding the football match, we were deserved winners. Blackburn were very effective with what they did but the spirit and quality we showed was fantastic.

"It was difficult when Blackburn pulled it back to 2-1, given what has happened over the last week and the mental fatigue that can cause, but every single player stood strong.

"The supporters were willing our players on from the sidelines - they were incredible. Over the course of the last seven days, everyone has shown that at this football club we are in it together.

"We scored two goals but we could have easily had four or five. We missed some good chances but it's a valuable three points in a football context.

"As much as we had to defend some high balls into our area, we were worthy winners. I'm sure the message will filter through to Fabrice that his team-mates have done him proud today."

Sky Bet League One Standings

Pos Team Pld Pts
11 Ipswich Town 20 27
12 Cheltenham Town 19 27
13 Bolton Wanderers 20 26
14 Accrington Stanley 19 24
15 Charlton Athletic 20 23
View Full Standings >>


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