Bolton boss confident of duo’s return



Bolton Wanderers manager Owen Coyle is hopeful that two of his players, Joey O’Brien and Ricardo Gardner will return to first team action before the end of the season.

Joey O’Brien has had real trouble with his knees in recent years, and the Republic of Ireland international has barely played of late.

O’Brien last played for Bolton in October 2008, and will be hoping to bring his nightmare run to an end by returning to the first team.

Ricardo Gardner’s luck hasn’t been much better, and the Jamaican midfielder has only managed one first team appearance this season due to his own knee problems.

Both players featured in a friendly during the week against Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s Molde and are getting closer to returning to the first team.

Boss Owen Coyle believes he will be able to select both players before the end of this season.

“Joey and Ricardo played an hour of the game which is great because when you’ve been out for a period of time, as both lads have, there is a feeling of frustration,” said Coyle.

“But when you’re back on the pitch running around again with your colleagues, then it’s terrific because they know they’re on their way back to recovery.

“They both did very well and are progressing nicely, which augurs well, but they will know they are a number of weeks away from full fitness and we will give them all the help we can to get back.

“I would hope they will both be back before the end of the season, although they have to make sure they are 100 per cent fit before they can show everybody what they can do.”

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