Coyle: Defeat Hard To Take

  • April 09, 2012 | By Chris Mann
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Owen Coyle admits defeat was hard to take after his Bolton team lost 2-0 at Newcastle United on Easter Monday.

Late goals from Hatem Ben Arfa and Papiss Cisse kept Alan Pardew's side on course for a place in next season's UEFA Champions League, while Wanderers remain just one point above the relegation zone.

Coyle believes his team more than matched their opponents at the Sports Direct Arena and admits he is finding it hard to stomach the nature of their latest defeat.

"It was a big ask because we had one day's preparation, but our performance was miles better than our game against Fulham," Coyle told the club's official website.

"From start to finish it would be fair to say there wasn't too much difference between the sides, and for large periods of the game it would be fair to say that we were the better side.

"We came here knowing that we faced a team riding high in the Barclays Premier League, with a good squad and having Champions League aspirations, as they fight it out at the top end of the table. We put in a battling performance and pushed them all the way.

"There is no doubt that it was a wonderful finish by Ben Arfa for his goal but we are disappointed that we didn't deal with the run. I think Sam Ricketts slipped in the centre and that allowed him to get away.

"Saying that, we were still very much in the game. We made some changes and brought on Ivan Klasnic and David Ngog and pushed forward. Ultimately we were undone by the second goal, but that was clearly offside.

"Despite the result, our performance was terrific today. We created a number of chances - Chris Eagles and Mark Davies made the Newcastle goalkeeper work hard and Darren Pratley was just a whisker away from converting too.

"It is a difficult result to take because for large periods of the game we stood toe-to-toe with Newcastle, but we leave disappointed.

"Our fate and our destiny is in our own hands. We showed last month that when we bring it all together we can secure back-to-back wins.

"I said to the players after the game that if we bring that level of performance and quality to our next six matches we have enough to ensure that we pick up points and we stay in the Barclays Premier League."

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