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Page last updated at 09:56 GMT, Monday, 11 January 2010

Bolton manager Owen Coyle 'emotional' over Burnley exit

Owen Coyle
Coyle says he did not move to Bolton for his own financial benefit

Bolton boss Owen Coyle says he left Burnley with a "heavy heart" but has revealed concern over transfer funds was a factor in his decision to leave.

Coyle, 43, said leaving Burnley for relegation-threatened Bolton last week had been a "difficult" decision.

Speaking for the first time as Bolton boss he added: "It's very emotional, but it's such an exciting challenge.

"My frustration is we took Burnley to a certain level and it was always going to be difficult to throw £30m at it."

Coyle said that he thought Bolton had greater long-term potential than his former club.

Coyle's Bolton switch a 'football decision'

"If you look at the infrastructure of the club [Bolton], the academy, the training centre, everything is geared for top flight football and my job as manager is to make sure that happens," he said.

"I must say, Burnley have still got a Premier League team as well. We really galvanised the club and took them to a level that is always going to be difficult.

"On balance I had to look at, if we'd achieved survival, come the summer is there going to be that investment? I wasn't sure there was. In a transitional period I was trying to move things along quicker than finances would dictate."

The former Wanderers player said he understood the disappointment felt by many Burnley fans at his decision, but insisted it was inevitable.

"There's two things which happen to football managers - you do well and you move on or you don't and you're moved on," said Coyle, who last season guided the Clarets from the Championship to the Premier League, where they are currently 14th in the table.

"It was difficult. The emotional attachment alone over the course of two years... but when all was said and done we tried to take the emotion out of it and make what we felt was a football decision.


"I understand totally the sense of hurt and disappointment the Burnley fans would feel. It's a natural reaction and I think it can't be lost on anybody what we did do over two years.

"When I came into the football club we were in the bottom half of the Championship. We pulled it all together and that's probably why I'm here."

The Scot said it was "ridiculous" that some believed he had left Turf Moor for his own financial benefit, citing he could have doubled his wages by moving to Celtic in the summer.

Instead, Coyle said he wanted to test himself in what he believed was the best league in the world and against the best players in the world.

"If it was finance I would have taken the job at Celtic in the summer," said Coyle, who is a former Bolton player.

"That is just a knee-jerk reaction from people that do not know me.

"I have an unbelievable challenge ahead here at this magnificent club, with a magnificent stadium, and I have to take that on.

"You want to be the best you can be and that's my motivation. I want to be involved at the highest level and the highest level in world football is the Premier League.

"There's no doubt about it, the best individual players in world football operate in the Premier League. You want to go and compete with the best in the business.

Owen Coyle playing for Bolton
Coyle played for Bolton between 1993 and 1995

"Celtic were the team I supported as a boy and I spoke with Celtic in the summer.

"They offered me the job and I turned it down to stay at Burnley. I think that puts to bed anything about finances."

Bolton chairman Phil Gartside promised that funds would be available during the transfer window if the former St Johnstone boss wanted to bolster the Bolton squad.

"We have never not backed a manager in the transfer window. We have always done some business and it will carry on that way," said Gartside.

Gartside added: "I think the fans will embrace Owen for what he is. He is a very bubbly character, he is infectious. He likes what he sees here and that is good enough for me.

"We hit it off right away and could have finished (our discussions) in five minutes. We did not have anyone else on the list.

"This was the only guy we wanted. You have to remember I recommended him to Burnley in the first place."

Coyle's first match in charge will be against Arsenal on Sunday and he will be joined at the Reebok Stadium by his new backroom staff.

First team coach Steve Davis and goalkeeping coach Phil Hughes left Burnley last week to link up with Coyle, with the Scot revealing: "Every one of them wanted to be on board.

"I brought them because they wanted to come. I'm very open with my staff, we had a discussion and every one of us felt it was the right decision."

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see also
Coyle - Why I turned down Celtic
11 Jan 10 |  Celtic
Grayson denies Burnley job link
11 Jan 10 |  Leeds
No Burnley approach, say Terriers
11 Jan 10 |  Huddersfield
Coyle takes over as Bolton boss
08 Jan 10 |  Bolton
Burnley hand Davis caretaker role
06 Jan 10 |  Burnley
Coyle assistant rejects rumours
02 Jan 10 |  Bolton
Fans never accepted me - Megson
01 Jan 10 |  Bolton
Lowly Bolton sack manager Megson
30 Dec 09 |  Bolton
Coyle pens four-year Burnley deal
18 Jun 09 |  Burnley

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