Norwich City deserved the win admits Bolton boss Owen Coyle
Owen Coyle remains convinced Bolton will retain their Premier League status this season.
The Trotters' impressive recent run ground to a halt in Norfolk in a display Coyle readily admitted failed to scale the heights of recent wins over both Merseyside clubs and a goal less midweek draw against free-scoring Arsenal.
Wanderers' reverse at Carrow Road, coupled with results elsewhere, dragged Coyle's men back into the bottom three ahead of this Saturday's home test against local relegation rivals Wigan.
'We just have to go on now and we have our destiny in our own hands,' he said. 'We face a derby game back at the Reebok where we will be looking to continue our run of home form. I don't have any doubts. I remain convinced and focused.
'Even when we were bottom of the league and teams and others might have been writing us off, we have proved it over the last few months but days like this don't help. We'll dust ourselves down, take our medicine and criticism that will come our way again, but we'll bounce back and look to win our next game.'
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Coyle conceded Norwich's injury-hit line-up was full value for all three points with a decisive late onslaught.
'I don't think I could argue that, over the piece, Norwich deserved the three points. They were at home, which is a big advantage in our league, and doing well,' he said. 'We came into the game in good form and good heart. We had put in a performance against Arsenal and wanted to push on following that.
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'Certainly we had our moments in the first half and as the second half went on we took a good hold on the game. We created a number of chances and had a number of strikes on goal.
'We brought the skipper on (Kevin Davies) and we looked as if we could go on and win the game, but we lost out on our part to two disappointing goals which we felt we could have done better with.
'First half, we never got started and I don't take issue with that, but we pushed up the park in the second half and had as good at chances as Norwich at that stage but the first goal was always going to prove vital.'
Coyle refused to offer his players an easy excuse after a hectic festive spell of Premier League combat.
'Whether it was having too many games in a short period of time I don't know,' he said. 'That gives the players an out because I think we should be performing better than we did today.
'We got a grip of the game for 15 to 20 minutes in the second half and looked if we could go and get a goal in front but ultimately we didn't defend well enough to keep Norwich out.
'The first goal we got a great block in the first phase of play but you have to say it was a great finish from the lad on the volley. We looked the team in the ascendancy. Even then we had one or two chances to get back in the game and the keeper makes some good saves but the disappointing thing for me is we are better than that.
'We have shown if we get to our maximum then we are capable of winning games and picking up points. Doing that will get us up the league and that is what we have to focus on in the remaining games.'
Coyle handed England U21 international Marvin Sordell a late debut at Carrow Road following his big-money deadline day move from Watford.
The Bolton chief also recruited Arsenal loanee Ryo Miyaichi during the week in his bid to help Wanderers pull clear of the scrap at the bottom.
'Playing young players doesn't frighten me,' he said. 'I think young lads are fearless, and they certainly should be. They should be out there showing everyone they can play and have that confidence.
'I feel sometimes all they need is that platform. They bring an energy and a freshness that I love to see as a manager.'