Owen Coyle has been confirmed as the new manager of Wigan Athletic to replace Roberto Martinez, says Wigan chairman and owner Dave Whelan.
Here’s what Whelan told talkSPORT today:
“If anyone can get us back to the Premier League, I think Owen is the manager to do it.”
“I thought he was the best candidate we had to choose from. We have had some very, very good candidates and it is never an easy job selecting a new manager because a manager can have good luck or bad luck and you can choose the right one or the wrong one.
“A lot of people in Wigan will have seen Owen Coyle at Bolton and think, ‘oh, Bolton sacked him, why would he come to Wigan?’ But they have to know the man and his capabilities and he has got some real good quality. He did so well at Burnley. He got Burnley into the Premier League.
“The meetings I have had with him have gone very well. He obviously trusts me and I am putting my faith in him. Hopefully, we can fight our way back into the Premier League.
“The priority is getting back to the Premier League. Europe is not the priority and, while we are proud to represent England in that European League, it is not our priority. Getting back to the Premier League over two years [is our priority] and it may take that time.”
Let’s hope that Coyle’s managerial record, this time, will be better than the last time he switched positions to manage a club in the North West. In 2010, he quit Burnley mid-season to manage Bolton Wanderers. At the end of the 2009-10 season, he kept Bolton up but Burnley were relegated. And then at the end of the 2011-12 season, Coyle’s Bolton side were relegated from the Premier League. He was later sacked in October, 2012 after a poor run of form in the Championship.
For all of Dave Whelan’s talk in the press about Wigan having close to 50 applicants for the job, and a plethora of managerial choices to choose from including Rene Meulensteen, Steve McClaren, Mike Phelan and many more, it’s puzzling that Whelan chose Coyle. For the Scot, it’s a chance for redemption. It’s his third Lancashire club he’ll be managing in succession. Let’s see if he can make it third time lucky.
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