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Fireside Chats: Wolves 2-3 Bolton

Finally! 3 wins in a row!
Finally! 3 wins in a row!

Surprisingly, given the nature of this weekend's match, the excitement and the vital 3 points, the players have been less chatty than usual. Perhaps it was the controversial nature of Bolton's opening goal, a penalty won dubiously by Mark Davies, or maybe the club is still a little in shock over Fabrice Muamba (in spite of his continuing recovery). Whatever the reason, there were only a few interviews to draw from for this week's Fireside Chats. Hit the jump for what they did say.

Of course, Owen Coyle still had to put a few words in.

"Any win in the Barclays Premier League is a big win, but today that gave us some momentum with it being our third on the bounce.

"Today was always going to be difficult. Wolves came out in the first half really fired up to win the game and there had to be some brave defending from ourselves. We stood up, made blocks when we had to and Adam (Bogdan) made some top-drawer saves. We made it hard because we never passed the ball as well as we could, but equally we had one or two opportunities on the counter-attack.
We started well after half-time but then Kightly scored a very good goal. However, the spark and the response we got after that was fantastic.

"We took the game by the scruff of the neck and didn't feel sorry for ourselves. We showed the endeavour and quality and it culminated in three quality goals. Martin Petrov converted the penalty with a clinical finish. It was a big ask for him to play, given what happened with Fabrice and now his friend Stiliyan, who we all wish well and is in our thoughts. Martin was emotional but he wanted to play and he was a positive influence on the team.

"Once we scored that equaliser, we became the better side and controlled the game. We moved the ball well and looked an attacking threat. Marcos (Alonso) netted with a superb reaction and the skipper showed again why he has a major role at this club.

"At 3-1 we should have seen the game out and scored more goals. Chris (Eagles), Nigel (Reo-Coker) and Martin (Petrov) all went close, but we allowed a long high ball into our box for their second. It set up a nervy last five minutes but we held on and I'm delighted with the three points.

"We had a sell-out travelling support and they played their part too. They got behind the team when we were a goal down and they roared the team forward.

"We have to continue winning games because the league is tightening up. We have to make sure that we carry on playing our part, knowing that if we win our games then nothing else matters.

"It's three wins on the run, which is a difficult ask for the elite clubs in the Premier League. If we continue to play to our maximum, we will continue on this run because we have the quality to win games and pick up points."

He covers a lot of ground in that interview, but to me two of the most important parts were touching on the team's spirit after a poor start, and admitting that the boys slacked off at 3-1. While in some ways the results under Coyle have not been startlingly different than under Megson, the spirit and ability to come back after going a goal down has been a real difference. This season a lot of that mettle seems to have disappeared, but these recent hard fought wins hopefully mark its return. The admission that the team did sit back at 3-1 and should not have is nothing that the casual observer would not have noticed, but it is nice to see OC varying from his ceaselessly optimistic interviews

Martin Petrov was another obvious choice for interview. On Saturday the news about friend and countryman Stiliyan Petrov's Leukemia diagnosis will still have been ringing in his ears.

"It was very difficult when Stan (Stiliyan Petrov) told me this yesterday. It's incredible that he was at the Aston Villa game but that shows him the character he has. I'm sure he is going to win this fight, 100 percent.

"I made the decision to play this game after I spoke with him on Friday. He told me that he had wanted the Aston Villa players to play their match and that he wanted me to do the same.

"He said that he is going to fight, and so that was enough for me. It's more bad news after what has happened in the last couple of weeks with Fabrice - it's the first time that I've known anything like this in my career."

In spite of this, he still managed to open the Whites' goal account on the day by converting a penalty

"It doesn't matter who scores the goals at this stage of the season. We have won that game and that's it - three points and now we think for the next game because we have eight finals left. I think that in the future we have to be more concentrated because in the first half I didn't think we played good. Adam Bogdan made some fantastic saves - he is on top form at the moment and I hope that he can continue with that.

"In the second half we stayed more compact and made strong counter-attacks. We deserved to score three goals. This game is finished now. Okay, the three points is on our side but in the next game against Fulham at home, we must continue to win the games.

"We have to be sure that when Fab comes back we are in the Premier League and when the captain for Aston Villa is here it will be Petrov against Petrov again."

Petrov undoubtedly has the right end of the stick on this one. Sometimes his languid playing style can appear lazy, but there is no questioning how strongly he feels about the team and the game. Not to mention, his broken English is adorable