Coleman prepared for Bolton reaction

Fulham manager Chris Coleman is prepared for a backlash from Bolto tomorrow after Sam Allardyce’s side were knocked out of the UEFA Cup by Marseille in France on Thursday.

While Bolton were involved in Europe, Fulham have had two weeks off since their 6-1 demolition of West Bromwich Albion and Coleman has been grateful for the break.

He took his squad to Abu Dhabi for four days and hopes that the benefits of the break will enable his side to finally secure their first away victory of the season.

“They are a strong team – look at their home record, it’s one of the best home records in the league – and this is going to be a big, big game for us.

“We are either going to see a backlash or they will be on a downer but I don’t know. As far as I am concerned, it is not about Bolton, it is about us,” said Coleman.

“We needed the two weeks off. You can say we won 6-1 and everybody is on a high so we can’t wait for the next game, but I looked at it a different way.

“The guys needed a little break from the training ground. We took them for four days away to relax and recharge the batteries. There are 12 important games remaining for us and it has been a long, hard season, not just physically but mentally.

“It was important for us to use that two-week break in the right way and we did that. We trained two days out of four and just chilled, it was great.

“I can see in the players that they have come back and got a little hunger for the ball because they have not sen it,” said Coleman, who is certainly not blaming his players for failing to pick up a win on their travels so far this season.

He accepts that as the inevitable risk of the adventurous style Fulham have adopted away from home this season.

“Our results have not been great but apart from twice – at Blackburn and Portsmouth when we did not really play well – we have attacked and had a go.

“When you go away and play open like we have it is hard for the defence. It is not just down to the defence or the goalkeeper because we have been set up to attack.

“A lot of teams who go away are cautious and choose the right moments to attack but we have changed it this season.

“You can’t knock the guys, there is only a couple of times we have gone away and not competed. As long as they have a go that is all you can ask,” added Coleman, who adds midfielder Papa Bouba Diop, back from African Nations Cup duty with Senegal, to the squad which hammered West Brom.


More in this Section

Conor O'Shea's Italy power past NamibiaConor O'Shea's Italy power past Namibia

Georgia forwards coach Graham Rowntree is ‘technically one of the best’Georgia forwards coach Graham Rowntree is ‘technically one of the best’

Aaron Smith believes win over South Africa reasserts All Blacks’ supremacyAaron Smith believes win over South Africa reasserts All Blacks’ supremacy

Lukaku hails coach Conte after Inter Milan maintain 100% startLukaku hails coach Conte after Inter Milan maintain 100% start


Lifestyle

Brian Caliendo owns and runs Liber Bookshop on O’Connell St, Sligo, with his wife Ailbhe Finnegan.We Sell Books: ‘I can get it on Amazon, but I prefer to get it from ye’

Dylan Tighe’s overdubbing of a classic tale of depravity to give it an Irish context is one of the most interesting offerings at Dublin Theatre Festival, writes Alan O’Riordan.Classic 120 Days of Sodom redubbed for Irish context

Marian Duggan was in her 20s and could not imagine that her symptoms could be so serious, not even when a tennis-ball-size cyst was removed from her left ovary, says Helen O’Callaghan.'I thought I was too young to have cancer'

Yvonne Young, group assistant director of nursing, University of Limerick Hospitals Group and National Sepsis TeamWorking Life: Yvonne Young, group assistant director of nursing

More From The Irish Examiner