Coyle- Defensive stand-ins up to the task
Updated Thursday, 17th February 2011
Bolton boss Owen Coyle is confident his squad can cope with their defensive problems as he waits to learn the extent of the Achilles damage suffered by Sam Ricketts in the FA Cup fourth-round replay win at Wigan.
Wanderers secured a last-16 trip to Fulham on Sunday with a 1-0 triumph at the DW Stadium, although the victory was marred by Ricketts' injury, the Welshman going to ground in the second half while tracking Latics substitute Victor Moses and having to be carried off the pitch on a stretcher.
Coyle, who expects Zat Knight to be out for four to six weeks with an ankle ligament injury sustained in last weekend's win over Everton in the Barclays Premier League, confirmed Ricketts was likely to be sidelined for some considerable time. The manager, though, has faith in what remains at his disposal.
"That is the nature of football, but again, it is something we have to cope with, as we have done all season," Coyle said. "At one point we were down to 15 players and we are not at that stage yet, but we do have good players - as they have shown (against Wigan) - that can step into the breach.
"David Wheater (Knight's replacement in the starting XI) was outstanding again and I thought after Marcos Alonso came on (for Ricketts) and went to left-back, with Paul Robinson going to the right, they all stuck to their task.
"We would love to have Zat and Sam fit, and we'd love to have Gretar Steinsson fit, who has been injured and is on his way back. But it's all hands to the pump and that is the way we have always worked anyway."