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Friday 22 September 2017

Coyle coy on Cahill after defender seals huge win

BOLTON boss Owen Coyle was not prepared to speculate on whether Gary Cahill had played his last game for the club after the Chelsea target scored Wanderers' winner last night as they came from behind to beat Everton 2-1 at Goodison Park.

The hosts took the lead in freak circumstances in the 63rd minute when Toffees goalkeeper Tim Howard, assisted by the blustery conditions, beat opposite number Adam Bogdan with a clearance from his own box.

Bolton recovered from the blow swiftly, though, with David Ngog equalising four minutes later, before Cahill -- once again named as captain, as he was for Saturday's 1-1 draw with Wolves, despite it emerging on Friday that a fee for him had been agreed with Chelsea -- smashed home the decisive goal with 12 minutes remaining, securing a result which lifted the Trotters off the foot of the Premier League.

Coyle's decision to keep faith with the defender even though he looks set to leave the club proved a shrewd one and, asked if he thought that would be the last time Cahill would be seen in a Bolton shirt, the Scot said: "I was asked after the Wolves game as well whether it would be his last game for Bolton, and I can't answer that.

"All I can tell you is what I know. Gary's representative has had one meeting with Chelsea and, as with any negotiations, you have an opening gambit and then they obviously have to go back and speak to Mr (Roman) Abramovich (Chelsea's owner).

"I am led to believe that he has been away, so I think that is where we are.

"If Mr Abramovich sanctions whatever he wants to sanction, then they will take it from there."

Coyle, whose team moved up to 18th, a point adrift of safety, hailed the character shown by Cahill.

"It can't be easy when it is a club of Chelsea's stature and a fee has been agreed," Coyle said.

"To be fair to them, I think they have respected the fact that we had a huge game and have not then had further dialogue -- we expect that they will possibly in the next few days."

Bogdan was stranded as Everton's goal bounced over him into the net, but Coyle refused to blame the Hungarian keeper -- in the side for the injured Jussi Jaaskelainen.

"It was certainly one of the most freakish goals I've ever seen in football," Coyle said.

"It would have been easy to feel sorry for ourselves, but I thought the players showed real belief and they scored two magnificent goals.

"I don't think anyone can deny that we were worthy of the three points."

Everton boss David Moyes was in agreement. "I've got no qualms with the result," he said. "You can't perform like that and expect to win."

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