Thursday 14 December 2017

Coyle tips Cahill for top

Bolton 3 Aston Villa 2

Mark Staniforth

Bolton boss Owen Coyle insisted that Gary Cahill "could play for any top team in world football" after the defender scored twice in yesterday's dramatic victory.

Cahill twice hauled his side level and Ashley Young missed a penalty before substitute Ivan Klasnic struck four minutes from time to claim the points for the home side.

"Gary is only going to get better," Coyle said. "I believe he could play for any top team in world football. Gary could stand toe-to-toe with anyone."

Coyle is resigned to losing Cahill at some stage -- possibly this summer -- but claims he will not stand in the way of his departure at the right price. "There will be a time when Gary has outgrown this football club and when that time comes it will take good money, but he will go with my blessing," added Coyle.

"I will never stand in the way of anyone progressing. What Gary has to do between now and the end of the season is keep showing these top clubs what an unbelievable talent he is."

Klasnic's late winner was enough to move Bolton up to sixth, and Coyle hailed his side's spirit as they survived a Villa onslaught to turn the game around.

"We certainly never played as well as we can but what we have is a sense of togetherness, a real bravery and a courage that we're never out of a game," he said.

Aston Villa manager Gerard Houllier bemoaned his side's missed chances and admitted that Young's penalty miss -- which would have put his side 3-1 ahead -- was a pivotal moment in the game.

"I think the penalty was maybe a turning point," said Houllier. "We created so many chances we were cruising at one point and we could have been 4-1 or 5-1 up. I feel frustrated and disappointed but also a bit proud because taking the game to Bolton as we did was something special. We were maybe a bit naive against Cahill.

"In football you are a lucky manager when you have a performance and a result. We had the performance but not the result. We created nearly a dozen chances."

Houllier also pointed to the moment Darren Bent was flagged offside when Villa were 2-1 up -- with television replays suggesting he should have been allowed to play on.

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