Coyle frustrated by referee

Coyle frustrated by referee

Bolton boss Owen Coyle felt his captain Kevin Davies was denied a clear winner against Fulham this afternoon.

Coyle’s struggling side were forced to settle for a goalless draw at the Reebok Stadium after Davies had a late headed goal disallowed for a push on Brede Hangeland.

Coming moments after Johan Elmander spurned a fine opportunity, it made for a dramatic end to a dreary Barclays Premier League clash but Coyle could not understand the decision.

“I think it is fair to say we certainly didn’t get what we deserved from the game today,” said Coyle, whose side are just a point above the relegation zone.

“I can’t be evasive – we have scored a very good goal in the game.

“Everyone in the stadium knew it was a goal, bar one man.

“That is hard to take, that leaves a bad taste in the mouth.

“It was clearly a terrific goal. Kevin has jumped among a group of players and planted a great header in the corner.

“The referee [Mark Clattenburg] has deemed Kevin has pushed the defender with two hands. ”I knew at the time there was no contact and I’ve seen the re-run - certainly not any two hands that I’ve seen.“

Coyle has won just one Premier League game in five since taking charge earlier this month but he feels performances are promising.

He added: “Every point is a good point in the Premier League but the galling thing is we were deserving of three today.

“But there was a lot to be pleased about, a lot of positives.

“I felt in the second half we really raised the pace of the game and had a number of opportunities.”

Bolton were forced into late defensive changes after Gary Cahill withdrew injured this morning and Gretar Steinsson pulled out ill after the warm-up.

Coyle said: “Credit to my players because of what they coped with in adversity.

“We had to reshuffle the whole back line and then Andy O’Brien took a bang on the calf and we had to change it again.”

Fulham boss Roy Hodgson was pleased to take a point as his team struggle to get their campaign back on track.

The Cottagers had lost five successive games before beating Portsmouth in midweek.

Hodgson said: “It was a barrage of projectiles at some stages.

“You need people to stand up and you need the shape of your team to be right, especially now as we aren’t playing as well as we did earlier in the season.

“That is understandable because we have seven players missing at the moment and some of those are our most talented players.

“Bolton put us to the test today and I am delighted we rode our luck a bit.

“They had by far the better goal chances in the game but we have got a very good goalkeeper and a resilient, hard-working and determined team.”

Hodgson felt Clattenburg had made the right call to disallow Davies’ late effort.

He added: “I congratulate the referee on the strength of his decision and having watched the video I think Brede was just about to head the ball when he felt the push.

“Of course I don’t think you’d expect me to say anything other than it was a good decision and I don’t think I’ll be expecting Owen Coyle to say anything other than, ’We was robbed’.

“But I don’t think in 2010 we have had an awful lot of luck with decisions and deflections and things like that.”

Bobby Zamora missed the game through illness but should return for the midweek clash with Burnley.

Kagisho Dikgacoi added to Fulham’s injury woes by limping out during the second half.

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