Coyle keeps Pardew guessing

Bolton manager Owen Coyle has denied Kevin Davies is excluded from his plans for today’s Barclays Premier League clash against Newcastle after the Wanderers captain missed out in last Tuesday’s 2-1 win over Blackburn.

The striker started the game on the bench but was not called upon during the match at Ewood Park, with Coyle instead choosing a strike partnership of Ivan Klasnic and David Ngog.

Mark Davies and Nigel Reo-Coker’s first-half goals were enough to seal the win which lifted Bolton off the foot of the table.

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Newcastle visit the Reebok Stadium today and Wolves arrive on Hogmanay. However, Coyle says nothing should be read into the fact Kevin Davies was left out of the starting line-up in midweek.

“What we did was make a number of changes – it wasn’t just one change. We do that from game to game because the bottom line is, when you’re not winning matches, as we hoped we would be, you’ve got to change things.

“We made the decision the other night and whether we look to change it for Newcastle time will tell, but I certainly can’t reveal too much and give Alan Pardew too much information.”

The Trotters have only won once at home in the league so far this season, a 5-0 thrashing of Stoke on 5 November, but Coyle had plenty to be cheerful about following the Blackburn match.

“We have a group [of players] that are determined to do their very best. The games come thick and fast and you’ve got to make sure you’re ready to deliver on that pitch. On Boxing Day, you have to be ready to give a big performance.”