BBC Sport football


Related BBC sites

Page last updated at 19:09 GMT, Saturday, 2 January 2010

Owen Coyle is happy at Burnley says assistant Stewart

Burnley boss Owen Coyle has distanced himself from the vacant Bolton manager's job
Burnley boss Coyle was linked with the Celtic manager's job last summer

Burnley assistant manager Sandy Stewart insists that boss Owen Coyle is happy at the club despite the speculation linking him to the vacant Bolton job.

The speculation intensified when Coyle missed the post-match news conference after their 2-1 FA Cup win at MK Dons.

But Burnley officials say Coyle had to leave to catch a scheduled flight from Luton to see his family in Scotland.

"I can't make much comment but what I do know is he is very happy at Burnley," said Stewart.

Coyle might feel tempted to move on if it was made clear to him that he had little or no funds to strengthen in the January window and that he had taken the Clarets as far as he can.

But, following further morning speculation in the Sunday papers that Coyle is bound for the Reebok, Burnley have once again confirmed that there has still been no official approach.

And Stewart was left to field questions following Burnley's victory with the news conference dominated by Coyle's future at the Clarets.

"It's simply speculation and we had it in the summer with Celtic," said Stewart.

"Until something else happens, I can't make much comment. We have worked hard and we think we have done a good job here to put Burnley in good standing.

"We are happy here, we think we have taken the club forward and that is all we can concentrate on.

"It is up to other people to decide whether it would be a sideways move. If that moment in time comes when Owen has to decide, then he might decide that it is.

"If you asked every player in that changing room, they would hope that it was not Owen Coyle's last game in charge and they don't think it is."

Coyle made a point of approaching the away end after the final whistle and applauding them for their support and Burnley insist that no contact has been made by Bolton to speak to him about their vacant manager's post following Gary Megson's exit.

"There has been no discussion about our manager's future and no contact from Bolton regarding Owen Coyle," a Burnley spokesman told BBC Radio Lancashire on Friday.

But Coyle remains the bookmakers' odds-on favourite to succeed Megson.

Coyle said on Thursday: "It is a fantastic job for someone but my focus is on doing the best against MK Dons this weekend.

"I've had speculation time and again but I'll focus on the job in hand."

Coyle, a former Republic of Ireland international, played for Bolton between 1993 and 1995 and has previously described the club as "very close to my heart".

But the 43-year-old insisted he was happy at Burnley, with whom he signed a three-year contract when he took over in November 2007 with the club mid-table in the Championship.

"I feel very privileged to be manager of a wonderful football club," he said.

"I think the players enjoy working for me, the fans like coming and we are trying to build something here."

Former Manchester City boss Mark Hughes, Stoke assistant boss Peter Reid, former Peterborough coach Darren Ferguson, ex-Wigan manager Paul Jewell and former West Ham boss Alan Curbishley have also been suggested as possible candidates.


Megson, 50, was sacked on Wednesday following Tuesday's 2-2 draw with Hull during which he was booed by sections of the Bolton crowd, frustrated at their position third from bottom of the Premier League.

In his absence, assistant boss Evans and first team coach Steve Wigley took charge for the FA Cup third-round tie against Lincoln City on Saturday which they won 4-0.

But former Wolves academy chief Evans, who was recruited as assistant manager by Megson two years ago, insisted earlier in the week he would not be applying for the job on a permanent basis.

And Evans is confident the club can progress under new leadership.

"I believe there is a real chance of ongoing success," said Evans.

"The manager who comes in will have reason to feel positive about the future as we have solid foundations.

"We will come in on Monday, ready to work hard. It is about hard work, it is about focus. It is incumbent on us to do the best we can."

Megson took over from Sammy Lee at Bolton in October 2007, lifting the club out of relegation danger to finish 16th in his first season and guiding the club to a 13th-place finish in his only full campaign with the club in 2008-09.

Print Sponsor

see also
MK Dons 1-2 Burnley
01 Jan 10 |  FA Cup
Pulis would let Reid join Bolton
31 Dec 09 |  Stoke
Fan power sends Megson packing
30 Dec 09 |  Bolton
Lowly Bolton sack manager Megson
30 Dec 09 |  Bolton
Megson anger at Bolton boo-boys
29 Dec 09 |  Bolton
Bolton 2-2 Hull
29 Dec 09 |  Premier League
Tuesday football as it happened
29 Dec 09 |  Football
Tuesday's Premier League photos
29 Dec 09 |  Football
Megson angered by 'pathetic' fans
29 Jan 09 |  Bolton

related bbc links:

related internet links:
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites