Norwich City deserved the three points, admits Bolton boss Owen Coyle
Bolton manager Owen Coyle admitted the first goal at Carrow Road was always likely to prove decisive – after the Canaries put his side back into the Premier League's bottom three.
Coyle said the introduction of striker Kevin Davies in the second half had posed problems for the City defence after they lost both centre-halves through injury, but getting the breakthrough was the key. In the end, Andrew Surman's 70th-minute opener gave the hosts the edge before Anthony Pilkington wrapped up the points.
'I felt Norwich had the initiative early in the second half, but the skipper came on and brought us up the park and all of a sudden we had some decent chances, probably similar to Norwich,' said Coyle.
'I think at that point the first goal was always going to prove vital and our disappointment is, though it's a great finish from the lad on the second phase, the initial ball fell kindly for them.
'Having said that, I think we're a lot better than we showed today. That's disappointing on the back of the last couple of months, how well we've been doing. I don't think I could argue that over the piece, Norwich deserved the three points. But for my part, I'm disappointed we never got to the standard that we set previously.'
Bolton entertain the bottom club, neighbours Wigan, next Saturday.
'We just have to pick ourselves up because we know we've got a good side and when we're at our very best, which we weren't today, we can pick up points and by doing that, that will move us up the league,' said Coyle.
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'Without giving players excuses - because they're certainly capable of making enough themselves – I think we've played a number of games and whether Wednesday had an effect, though having said that, Norwich played on Wednesday night.
'The other thing is Norwich have been doing well. They're at home, which is a big advantage in our league, so you have to give them credit.'