Club Focus – Bolton Wanderers – Coyle bitter over Rodellega goal

Bolton boss Owen Coyle has declared his disappointment over a referee decision that hindered his side’s chances of winning their match against Wigan on Saturday.

The north-west clash ended in a 1-1 draw with Johan Elmander levelling the scores with a goal seven minutes after Hugo Rodellega’s finish on 59 minutes. However, Coyle seemed clearly displeased after the game with referee Howard Webb’s ruling that Franco Di Santo was onside when playing in the Columbian to finish. In an interview with Bolton’s official site on Sunday the Scot highlighted what the decision meant to Wigan after the goal, but went on to praise his side for getting back into the game: “My disappointment was that we thought their first goal was offside, but what we have with this group of players is tremendous spirit. The goal put us on the back-foot but they have great belief and they picked themselves up again and went on and claimed the equaliser”.

Despite the courage on show from both young sides, neither really did enough to snatch the win, with Coyle believing the draw to be a factor of the teams cancelling each other out: “On balance it was a fair result. We came into the game obviously looking for three points and it was one of those matches where at time we were in ascendancy and Wigan had their fair share of play and we had to stand up and be counted.” Finally, the former Burnley manager called a press conference last week in order to praise the support his side has had from their fans, and continued to thank the faithful for their backing: “We had a tremendous following and the support was fantastic and they really got behind the team. I think you could see from the way the lad celebrated the goal that they were very appreciative of the fans.”

Although an energetic and hearty encounter, the game was marred by an injury to young Lactics midfielder James McCarthy in the first-half. The former Hamilton Academicals player, who transferred to the DW Stadium in July 2009, had to be carted off on 30 minutes following a collision with Trotters midfielder Fabrice Muamba. It looked like Muamba had nicked the ball from the feet of McCarthy with a slide tackle, only for the Republic of Ireland international to land awkwardly on his ankle. Although it didn’t look initially harmful, the player’s reactions told a different story as McCarthy was laid out on a stretcher before being carried down the tunnel in some discomfort. The challenge has left the Wigan man to play the waiting game as hospital scans next week will reveal the extent of the injury.

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