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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Apr 15, 2011

Bolton look to honour Lofthouse

Bolton's management and players have emphasised their determination to lift the FA Cup as a fitting tribute to the late Nat Lofthouse.

Former England centre forward Lofthouse, who died in January, scored two goals the last time the club lifted the trophy. That was in 1958 when a Manchester United side decimated by the Munich air disaster were beaten at Wembley.

On Sunday Bolton return to the stadium when they face Stoke in the semi-finals of the competition. Manager Owen Coyle believes they need to be professional, not emotional, if they want to honour Lofthouse in the correct way and progress further.

Coyle said: "It would be lovely thing to come to fruition but to do that you have to play out of your skin and earn the right. There is a big obstacle to overcome first if we are to get to the final as this is a very good Stoke side.

"You can understand how everyone feels about Nat's passing but we have to make sure come the game we are fully focused."

Lofthouse was an "absolute legend", according to full-back Paul Robinson, who echoed the thoughts of the players in wanting to do right by arguably Bolton's best ever player.

Robinson said: "To be at his funeral and see the turnout was an unbelievable moment to be involved in.

"To see the fans lining the streets just showed what an absolute legend the man was. We will be trying to rekindle the memories that he had in lifting the cup and scoring the goals.

"It will be special for us on Sunday. Hopefully the atmosphere won't play a factor in it and we just focus on ourselves and what we need to do."

Coyle will make one enforced change as on-loan striker Daniel Sturridge is ineligible. Rodrigo and Ivan Klasnic are among the contenders to replace Sturridge, who scored a brace in the victory against West Ham last weekend.

Midfielder Mark Davies is expected to be included in the squad after returning to training following an ankle problem.

Coyle said: "We have been playing well. We had a dip at the end of December and into January but even then everything that could have gone against us did.

"But the players have continued to overcome the odds. We are in good heart and good form. Everyone has enjoyed the build up. We have had to work hard to get to the position we are in.

"Going and winning at Wigan, Fulham and Birmingham, it has certainly been a difficult road. Now we want to take it a stage further.

"We are two evenly matched sides full of history. The arena is the best in world football. To get the chance to showcase your talents, the players should be bursting to cross the white line."

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