PETROV HOPING FOR HAPPY ENDING

Bolton winger Martin Petrov is optimistic he can finish a bad season on a high.

Last Updated: 12/05/12 at 14:34 Post Comment   

Martin Petrov: 'It's been a very difficult season'

Martin Petrov: 'It's been a very difficult season'

Bolton winger Martin Petrov is optimistic he can finish a season he describes as the worst of his career on a high on Sunday.

It has been a distressing time for Bulgarian Petrov, with his Wanderers team-mate Fabrice Muamba suffering a cardiac arrest on the pitch in March and news then emerging that his compatriot and close friend Stiliyan Petrov had been diagnosed with acute leukaemia.

Meanwhile, the Trotters' struggles in the Barclays Premier League have continued and they head into the final day of the campaign with the prospect of relegation hanging over them.

Bolton, currently 18th, still have a realistic chance of beating the drop, requiring a win at Stoke and for 17th-placed QPR to lose at league leaders Manchester City for them to preserve their top-flight status.

Wanderers boss Owen Coyle says he "truly believes" that will be the outcome and it is certainly what Petrov is looking for at the end of what has been a testing period.

"I don't want to be part of what has happened this season with Fabrice Muamba and my friend Stiliyan Petrov," Petrov told The Bolton News.

"It is the worst year in my career, especially now with what's happening to Bolton.

"It's been a very difficult season but I hope the year will have a happy ending which is the most important thing."

Contemplating Sunday's scenario, Petrov - who has actually been one of the Trotters' best performers in their troubled campaign and was recently named as their player of the year by the Bolton Wanderers Supporters Association - said: "It is an extreme end to the season to decide who drops and who stays.

"I have not played in a game like this before.

"It is not good for us because we had so many chances to go up. But we missed them.

"But now we have one big last chance and it doesn't matter how we play, who scores, just that we win."

Coyle has every confidence his side will claim all three points at the Britannia Stadium, taking encouragement from their exploits this season on the road.

Bolton have won six times away from home in the league and their manager said: "I think if you look at Bolton Wanderers this season, you would think they were better placed to go and win (away) games rather than draw them, and that will be a good thing.

"I think there are only six or seven other teams in the league who have won more away games, so we know we are capable of going and winning tough games.

"There have been huge matches this season which people have tagged as must-win games and we have won them, and that is what we need to do again because they don't come any bigger than Sunday. We know this is the last-chance saloon."

Coyle is hopeful Nigel Reo-Coker (leg) and Mark Davies (virus) will be available despite the pair missing some training sessions recently and fellow midfielder Darren Pratley (virus) could be in line for his comeback having managed to do some light work at Wanderers' Euxton complex.

Winger Lee Chung-yong, who broke his leg last summer, made a surprise return to action as a substitute in last weekend's 2-2 draw with West Brom and will once again be in the squad.

Full-back Gretar Steinsson remains sidelined with a thigh problem, while centre-half David Wheater has joined the long-term casualty list after sustaining cruciate ligament damage in his right knee in the match against the Baggies.

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