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Cahill gets Bolton backing

Centre-back praised by Coyle and Knight

Last Updated: 07/09/10 12:52pm

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Cahill: Backed by club

Cahill: Backed by club

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England defender Gary Cahill has received the backing of club manager Owen Coyle and team-mate Zat Knight.

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The Bolton centre-half made his senior international debut on Friday, coming on as a substitute for the injured Michael Dawson during the 4-0 thrashing of Bulgaria.

Cahill is expected to start alongside Phil Jagielka against Switzerland on Tuesday night as Dawson is still sidelined, and Trotters boss Coyle played down the defender's relative international inexperience, saying he can be relied upon.

"Anybody who has any qualms or reservations is entitled to their opinion but for me, both lads are top players," Coyle said.

"Recognising that Switzerland away is a tough game, I'm pretty sure that those two lads (Cahill and Jagielka) will be ready to cope with whatever they are asked to.

"He probably wanted to do everything straightaway as soon as he got on there (against Bulgaria), but I think when he settled into the game and did the simple things well, he showed what a top player he is.

"Fingers crossed he is playing tonight against Switzerland, and if he can do that, hopefully cement a place in the England set-up."

Cahill's Bolton defensive partner Knight told the club's official website: "I'm over the moon for Gary because he has fully deserved that cap, and I'm not just saying that because he is one of my mates.

"I bet he has received a million and one messages to congratulate him, but I haven't phoned or texted him yet - I will wait until I see him considering that I'm with him almost every day.

"He has shown how determined he is having been named in plenty of other squads but now he has got what he really wanted and his hard work has paid off. Hopefully it is the first of many."


Cahill, 26, joined Bolton in February 2008 and has gone on to become an integral part of the first team at the Reebok.

Manager Coyle concedes that the club will not be able to hold onto him forever, but hopes to keep him for at least another season.

He added: "It's two-fold - first and foremost, we certainly don't want to lose Gary Cahill, but as I've mentioned before, there might very well come a time when he will outgrow the football club, because I think he could play for any top club worldwide.

"I think he'll get better, and if that time comes about, then Gary will go with my blessing as it will only be because he has played consistently well for Bolton Wanderers and hopefully for England that all those clubs are clamouring for him.

"If and when that comes about, the football club will look to do the best for themselves, but also recognising that Gary has to go and really flourish and take his career on.

"But that is not for now, certainly I hope it is not in January and we'll review that next summer, fingers crossed."

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