Owen Coyle believes long-serving Bolton Wanderers goalkeeper Jussi Jaaskelainen is getting better with age. The Finn goes into the Premier League match against Blackburn Rovers tomorrow in a rich vein of form, having managed three clean sheets in his last five top-flight games.
Bolton have gone back to basics after conceding a hatful goals from August until December. Jaaskelainen recorded another shutout in the draw with Wigan Athletic in midweek, and Coyle is pleased with the 34-year-old's form.
"He has been a top-class goalkeeper all his days and still is. He has a big role to play at this club, " said the Bolton manager. "Defending is a team game but if the players are breached, they know there is a top-class keeper to make saves.
"The shutouts are pleasing but equally we have to take our chances at the other end. It is a case of putting those two things together."
Tight at the bottom
Coyle could get a lift with the possible return of Croatian forward Ivan Klasnic. The 30-year-old, who has scored six goals this season after arriving on loan from Nantes, is on the mend after a calf injury.
He last appeared in Bolton's only win under Coyle, and that was against the manager's former club, Burnley, last month. "Klasnic has not trained with the group yet but he may join in today," said the Trotters boss.
"If he does I will have to look at that. What I can't do is take a chance with him and have him miss another two or three weeks, because he is a natural goalscorer. He will be important for us in the run-in."
Bolton have won just one league game in seven since Coyle arrived but he is convinced they can move out of trouble. "It is so tight at the foot of the table and a real battle," he said. "There is hardly a coat of paint between a number of clubs.
"You have to believe in what you are doing and in the players you have. They have shown they can go toe to toe with some of the best teams in the country. We are coming up against a very good Blackburn side, with a terrific home record. But want to go there and put our own stamp on the match."