First of all, I am very sorry for my ridiculously long absence. I have been very busy in my personal life, but I also have been making time for this blog. Apologies all round.
To fully understand the implications of this match you need a little background, which some newcomers will lack. Last season we had a horrible manager. I will admit, I stood by Megson a lot longer than most fans, but my feelings for him by the end are pretty accurately summarized by my last post on him. One of the reasons I stood by him so long was that I couldn't see a suitable replacement. We did find a suitable replacement, however not for lack of drama. Owen Coyle, an ex-Bolton player, had become something of a cult hero at Turf Moor. He led them up from the mires of the Championship into the glorious sunshine of the Premiership, he was the messiah. And then he left them. And the Burnley folk were none too pleased. Not only that but the media immediately pounced on him as well, claiming it was a bad move for him.
Sorry if you already knew that (which you probably did), but it's important to remember to understand the gravity of this match. While it is not the first time Coyle has gone toe to toe against his old club, it was his first return to Turf Moor. This may only be the Mickey Mouse Cup, but this was a huge game for both sides psychologically. Burnley played the part of the spurned lover proving they're still hot, while Bolton had to prove they actually were the better club and that Coyle made the right choice.
On balance, I certainly think Bolton are the better club, and that Coyle did make the right choice, but neither he nor the team made any effort to prove that yesterday. The fact is, we were outplayed most of the game, we didn't deserve to win. This was in exemplified in, despite saying to the press he "wouldn't even like to score" against Burnley, Robbie Blake started. His performance showed he was serious about this. The rest of the starting line up reeked of a similar apathy. This is "only the Cup", but it sent a message out. A message that we'll settle. A message Megson would just eat up. It's true we don't have a very big squad, but we also don't have another chance at Silverware. I think I'd take an injury to a player, and keep the dignity of the club.