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Fireside Chats: Post-Pompey

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The 3-0 loss to Portsmouth was not a great result. In fact, it was downright terrible. If this is what Bolton Wanderers will look like on days that they're just not feeling it, we could very well have a big issue on our hands. In order to get perspective on what happened, we have to look at what both sides of the match had to say. With the season fast approaching, we have to hope that these issues will be figured out soon.

Owen Coyle speaking to the official website:

"We always knew it was going to be a game of intensity but we didn't do ourselves any credit and reach anywhere near the standard we are capable of,"

"The bottom line is that we lost a game we didn't want to and I've let it be known to one or two that the standard has to be better than the one we have seen today.

"I actually thought we started well and had a great chance to score when their goalkeeper made a good save.

"But we have lost soft goals, although for their second goal, you can't dispute the quality because it was a fantastic free-kick from Liam Lawrence.

"But fair play to Portsmouth. They were fired-up given all that had gone on at the football club and there was a great turnout by their supporters.

"We always knew it was going to be that type of game but, from our point of view, we have to play better. We'll certainly learn a lot from today.

"What pre-season brings is a chance to rectify that in the build-up to the kick-off to the season, which is what we will do.

"When you come onto the pitch wearing a Bolton Wanderers shirt, you have to be ready. For parts of the game today, we didn't do ourselves justice.

"We've brought in young Benik Afobe, who I thought did well in the second half, he looked sharp and could have got himself a goal with his first touch. That augers well because he looks a real goal threat.

"We'll now continue with our programme of pre-season games with Tranmere away on Tuesday, leading into Barcelona B at the Reebok next Friday."

Portsmouth manager Michael Appleton to the Pompey website:

"It was good for the players' confidence to win 3-0, but I'm not too fussed about the result," said Appleton afterwards. "What pleased me most was the performance, which was very, very good. I'm delighted.

"I told the players to start the game quickly, like a league match, not like a pre-season friendly. We did that and passed the ball really well."

A Fratton Park staff member on Appleton:

"He's not a manager, he's Merlin,"

Elsewhere, despite not feeling bad about Blackburn Rovers' demise and having left Bolton Wanderers because of a "lack of ambition," former manager Sam Allardyce does feel for the Trotters after relegation:

"I have to say there wasn't much feeling when Blackburn were relegated because of the way they treated me," he told the People.

"Bolton is a different story because I left them and I only did that because of their lack of ambition. Everyone knows how much the club means to me and always will, so I was saddened by their relegation."