Coyle gets Pompey strength assurances

Bolton Wanderers manager Owen Coyle
Bolton Wanderers manager Owen Coyle
Kal Naismith. Picture: Joe Pepler

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Owen Coyle has sought assurances from Michael Appleton over the quality of his line-up for the Bolton clash tomorrow (3pm).

The Trotters visit Fratton Park for what is the Blues’ only home friendly of the pre-season programme.

Tickets for the match have struggled past the 1,000 mark, although fans can buy them on the day.

Meanwhile, Bolton have raised concerns over the strength of their opposition considering Pompey’s continued problems.

Appleton will again be reliant on triallists and home-grown youngsters.

However, he may once more name Tal Ben Haim and Liam Lawrence in his side, while Dave Kitson is looking to recover from an ankle knock.

But following talks with his Pompey counterpart, Coyle is satisfied the Championship side will get a test.

He said: ‘I’ve spoken to Michael because, of course, you would have reservations looking from the outside in.

‘But he’s assured me there will be a strong squad put out there and we’re going to Portsmouth knowing it will be a tough game. The other thing you know heading to Fratton Park is that there will be a partisan crowd.

‘I just felt that kind of atmosphere could only help our preparation.

‘We’ve played every game so far away from home purposely.’

Simon Eastwood (shoulder) and Mustapha Dumbuya (back) are injury concerns for Appleton heading into the match.

However, Agonit Sallaj, Kieran Djilali, Glenn Morris, Jack Compton and Josh Thompson could figure.