At the height of the Allardyce era Bolton finished level on points with Liverpool. Goal difference gave the Reds the fifth spot in the table, while Bolton had to settle for sixth and a UEFA Cup spot. At that point Wanderers were routinely taking points of "top 4" clubs and many supporters probably considered us on level ground with the likes of Liverpool (The feeling was not mutual, as Liverpool fans don't consider anyone to be on level ground with them).
Then the dark times began, and the manager did not even attempt to compete with clubs like Liverpool.
Now, Bolton are back. There is not the talent level, nor the results of the Allardyce era, at least not yet, but the thinking has returned. This is very important. Under the Ginger Mourinho, lip service was paid, working hard for the cause and all that, but fans and players both knew we didn't stand a chance.
What Owen Coyle has brought to the club, more important than his eye for talent or tactical acumen, is the belief, the mindset, that we can win every week. Not steal a point, not avoid embarrassing ourselves, actually beat clubs, no matter their position in the table.
This should be very interesting at Anfield today. My prediction; 2-2.