This weekend's match against Millwall was certainly one of the lowest points in a Bolton season that has quite a bit of competition in that area. From a purely personal perspective, that was one of he least fun match reports I've had to write in a very long time. We've criticised Owen Coyle in the past for sugar coating everything in his post-match interviews, but this week he gave a refreshingly honest interview. And about time too...
Standing here right now, this is the worst feeling I've ever had in football.
We were really poor in the first half and I let the players know in no uncertain terms that we simply hadn't been good enough. In the second half we played ever so well, but it's becoming a reoccurring theme. We were not clinical. We created good chances and we controlled the second half, accepting that they would be looking for the long ball and to play on the counter attack.
We had a penalty at 1-1 to take the lead. Regardless of the miss and whether or not there was a foul on Zat Knight in the run-up to their second goal - and I'm yet to see it back - we still should have had enough about us to see the game out. We've shown it fits and starts the quality that we have but we have not been consistently good and that is really hard to take.
There were almost 500 Wanderers fans who traveled down and backed us today and I have to thank them for their support. They really got behind the players and drove them forward and we're utterly disappointed not to have sent them home happy on the back of a win.
In all honesty, this was touchingly frank. With all of the frustration that has been surrounding the club recently, it's easy to forget what a truly nice guy OC is, and how much we loved him at the start. Things have been very obviously not working out for some time now, and while Coyle has proven himself incompetent at fixing a bad situation, it's important to remember that there was no clear solution throughout that.
The international break has come at an interesting time for Bolton. We could be entering the last few days of Owen Coyle's stay with Bolton Wanderers. In the end, he has not turned out to be the saint and saviour we all expected after the dark days of Gary Megson. He had charisma, but time went on to show that he lacked tactical nous, and was generally too inexperienced for a club like Bolton.
Thank you, Owen Coyle. Thank you for the honesty in this very difficult interview. Thank you for always clearly giving your everything to the club, even if it wasn't always in ways we thought were right. If this is your last interview, and you do leave the club, we wish you luck wherever you end up. If it's not, well, you've got a pretty big hill to climb.