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Coyle backs misfiring Elmander to come good

Owen Coyle has told misfiring Bolton striker Johan Elmander to relax and play his football.

Elmander has managed only two league goals this season after five in his debut campaign following his arrival from Toulouse.

However, even though the Swede was wasteful in the FA Cup draw with Tottenham on Sunday, Coyle is set to keep faith with him against Wigan tonight as Ivan Klasnic is injured.

Bolton boss Coyle said: "Maybe Johan is trying too hard. He has been terrific with his work ethic and his quality. He has created chances himself through his own good play. I have told him to carry on with what he is doing.

"Once you are in those positions it is about hitting the target and I know from experience the ball will go in the net.

"There is a lot to be pleased with regarding Johan. He will do his utmost to score the goals his good play deserves.

"As a striker, you are judged on goals.

"If they are not going in there is a tendency to snatch at things.

"That's when you have to start believing in what you are doing and go back to basics. You have to maintain that belief and composure."

Coyle believes the next month could shape his side's destiny.

After Wigan, Bolton face Blackburn, Wolves, West Ham, Sunderland and Wigan again before March is out.

Coyle knows it is an important spell in their bid to avoid relegation to the Championship.

He said: "No matter who you play in this league, you want to pick up points.

"However, this is a group of games with teams in and around us. It is up to us to try and maximise these opportunities. Nobody is going to hand it to us. We are going to have to be at our very best to get our rewards."

Coyle expects a rough ride against an inconsistent Wigan side.

He said: "It is a massive game for both clubs, no doubt. No one likes being in the bottom three. It is up to ourselves to get out of it.

"(Wigan boss) Roberto Martinez has a team that likes to pass and move the ball. They are a good side with some big, powerful players as well.

"But we have the opportunity to leap up the table and that is what we are aiming to do."