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Archives for December 2011

Outflanked Bolton need to fight their corner

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Alistair Magowan - BBC Sport | 16:37 UK time, Thursday, 15 December 2011

The moment a manager begins to openly criticise his players usually signals the beginning of the end, but it can also be a measure of the depths to which a club has already fallen.

Bolton boss Owen Coyle is widely respected, but when he highlighted his team's mistakes after the 2-1 defeat by Aston Villa last Saturday it showed a manager who wanted to provoke a response having seemingly tried everything to turn his side's fortunes around.

The 45-year-old Scot is renowned for his infectious enthusiasm, although even that must be wearing a little thin after losing 12 out of 15 Premier League games this season to leave his side bottom of the table.

Only two teams have suffered a worse start to a top-flight season, and among just nine sides to have lost 12 or more times after 15 games, only one has avoided relegation.

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Blackburn boo boys cannot help the team

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Alistair Magowan - BBC Sport | 15:04 UK time, Sunday, 4 December 2011

There was a moment on Saturday during Blackburn's crucial win over Swansea where the dissenters calling for the head of Rovers manager Steve Kean seemed to cross a line.

Ewood Park has not been a happy place for a while and the latest demonstrations involved fans wearing yellow T-shirts, emblazoned with "100% Rovers, 0% Kean, Venky's", in protest at their beleaguered boss, and the club's Indian owners.

Before the 4-2 victory, in which Yakubu scored four times to lift Blackburn off the bottom of the Premier League table, Kean had presided over six top-flight wins in the 34 games he has been in charge.

So perhaps some of the frustration after a poor run of results was understandable, but on Saturday on a wet and cold afternoon, Blackburn won their second game of the season, and still they booed.

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