IF Owen Coyle did not exactly enjoy facing Burnley during his time at Bolton Wanderers, Chris Eagles goes into tonight’s game with similar tales of woe.
Eagles and Tyrone Mears left the Clarets to link up with their old Burnley boss Coyle at Bolton in a double deal in the summer of 2011.
Both wanted a return to the Premier League, but things have not exactly gone to plan for either ever since. Bolton were quickly relegated and are now in danger of dropping into League One, while their old club Burnley push for promotion back to the top flight.
Out of the first-team picture, despite Bolton’s defensive shortage in recent times, Mears has not featured for Wanderers since the 4-1 loss at Blackburn in August.
Eagles has played more regularly but has only one goal to his name so far this season.
The wide man starred for the Clarets when they beat Coyle’s Bolton in the Carling Cup in 2010 but his record in this fixture has been considerable worse since he moved to the Reebok Stadium.
Eagles was named only as a substitute when Bolton played at Turf Moor on the opening day of last season, introduced by Coyle only once Bolton had fallen 2-0 behind.
In the reverse fixture at the Reebok, he started but was then jeered by home fans in a poor display. His substitution was met by ironic cheers.
On the opening day of this season, Eagles then limped off injured in a 1-1 draw at Turf Moor.
Since then he has shown little sign of the form that once made him a key part of Burnley’s promotion team.
The Clarets will hope his return to form does not come tonight.