Bolton v Manchester United

Coyle not expecting refs to swing Bolton's way

September 25, 2010
By ESPNsoccernet staff

Owen Coyle has claimed six major refereeing decisions have cost his Bolton side dearly this season, rejecting the notion that luck evens itself out over the course of a season.

Jussi Jaaskelainen and Kevin Davies return from suspension against Manchester United on Sunday, while Gary Cahill misses out as he serves the final game of a three-match ban incurred for his dismissal at Arsenal a fortnight ago.

Coyle is still annoyed at that one, believing Cahill's tackle on Marouane Chamakh only warranted a yellow, one of a string of decisions his side have had to overcome. However, do not mention to the Scot that these things even themselves up over the course of a season.

"That statement is the biggest load of nonsense I ever heard,'' countered Coyle. "We are only five games into the season and six huge decisions have gone against us. We were probably fortunate to get a free-kick 30 yards out against Birmingham that Robbie Blake scored from but that is one.

"Gary Cahill was sent off at Arsenal when everybody knows it was a yellow card, there have been clear penalties for us that have not been given, ones given against us that never should have been. But we will get on with it with a smile on our face.''

Phil Dowd takes charge on Sunday for a fixture that is usually hugely competitive but played in the correct spirit. The notable exception was at the Reebok Stadium three years ago when Sir Alex Ferguson was sent to the stands by Mark Clattenburg after a half-time rant at the official for failing to protect his players.

Ferguson was subsequently fined £5,000 and served a two-match touchline ban for his conduct, having generally managed to keep his temper in check at the performances of referees during his long managerial reign.

Coyle was critical of Stuart Attwell's performance at the Emirates Stadium, where he aired a mantra he is repeating now.

"All I ask of referees is that they get the big decisions right,'' he said. "The little fouls can go either way. Most managers accept that. But the big decisions in both boxes are the ones they have to get right.''