Bolton boss Owen Coyle believes his side have to qualities to move up the table despite Saturday’s result against West Bromwich Albion putting them mid-table.
The Trotters’ form hasn’t been at all bad so far with only one loss from their opening seven games – no shame in losing against Arsenal at the Emirates, after all. However, five draws in games where chances have been missed to pick up a further two points has cost them in their quest to break into the top-half. Coyle saw his side take the lead twice on their way to a 2-2 draw with Manchester United, and the Whites match against the Baggies on Saturday was another perfect example of failing to shut-out a lead.
After a fairly dull first-half, the in-form Johan Elmander bagged his fourth goal of the season- combining well with strike partner Kevin Davies to run onto his flick-on before holding off defender Jonas Olsson to fire home. James Morrison’s header 12 minutes from time summed up the afternoon for the visitors as they were resigned to sharing the spoils with their opponents.
Although the Baggies were going into the game on the back of wins against Manchester City and Arsenal, much will be made of Bolton’s inability to take chances. Gary Cahill, who was returning from a three-match-ban, headed uncharacteristically over from just six yards after he was given a free header on goal. Bolton held on for most of the first-half, but once former West Brom man Paul Robinson had caught onto the movements of livewire Peter Odemwingie they looked blunt going forward. Coming out after the second-half, Bolton started on the front foot but just couldn’t find the pass to create any kind of real chances for themselves, despite being given the time and space.
The real talking point came after both goals had gone in when Martin Petrov was put clean through on goal, only to clip his shot into side netting. The Bulgarian raced onto the pass down the left, and with no one in sight it seemed he just had to keep his head to put his side 2-1 up. But after taking the ball a bit too wide and ruining his angle, keeper Scott Carson was able to cover his goal as Petrov clipped the ball wide of the near post.
Following the game, Coyle branded the draw as a fair result, but was equally disappointed not to be coming away with the win: “Having got in front through a terrific goal we are disappointed not to come away with the win. We had chances to put the game to bed, but we didn’t take them.” Despite the missed chances the Scot did applaud his side’s effort, and clearly believes that the wins will come: “The mood in our dressing room is that we should have seen the game out and had all three points. The players are giving everything that they have got, and they are certainly showing their qualities.”