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Coyle urging Bolton player's to quickly forget semi-final humiliation

Bolton were defeated 5-0 at Wembley by Stoke in the FA Cup semi-final last weekend, and boss Owen Coyle wants a positive response to that humiliation. The Scot is determined there will be no cup hangover when Arsenal visit the Reebok Stadium on Sunday.

He said: "There's no getting away from how horrible a day it was for everybody connected with the football club, and particularly the supporters that came to watch us.

"But as a manager I have to make sure that the players are up again and get going and look to bounce back as quickly as possible.

"We have an opportunity to do that now against Arsenal on Sunday, it'll probably be the biggest crowd of the season, and that's testimony to the fans that come out to support the team.

"What we have to do is go out and give a big performance and thank them for their backing because it couldn't have been particularly nice to have to sit and watch what transpired last week. We have to get on the horse and get going again."

The result was a particular shock because of the success Coyle has brought to the Wanderers.

He said: "When you look at the progress we've made over the last 16 months, I think that had a lot to do with it. I think everybody went with the belief we could progress to the final and it went horribly wrong.

"There was a disappointment because of the expectation level. But we have to remember all those other games and how well the lads have done for the football club, and they will do again. You have to stick together and look to get a smile on people's faces again."

Meanwhile, Coyle's looked back at previous disappointments.

He added: "I'm the man in charge and I'm responsible for it, and until the day I die that game will hurt me. But I've been here before in my managerial career.

"With St Johnstone I sat in the dressing room for six minutes after we won the game on the last day of the season to see if my team had won the league and Gretna scored in the fourth minute of injury time to deny us.

"At Burnley we went to the semi-final of the Carling Cup and overturned a 4-1 deficit to Tottenham to beat them 3-0. In any other competition you'd have been in the final but we went to extra-time and lost a goal a minute and a half from the end.

"We had to pick ourselves up and we did and we went and got promotion to the Premier League. That's what we have to do now.

"We've made tremendous progress from a team that was favourites for relegation last season to being in the top half of the Premier League all year along with a fantastic cup run. We have to focus and finish the season strongly."

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Dave Williams

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