Coyle excited by Wigan challenge

Owen Coyle settles in at Wigan
Owen Coyle settles in at Wigan

OWEN Coyle took one look around the DW Stadium and backed himself to write the next page in the Wigan Athletic success story.

The 46-year-old has been charged with the task of restoring Premier League football to Wigan after emerging as the outstanding candidate during Dave Whelan’s search for a successor to Roberto Martinez.

Coyle has waited for the right opportunity to get back into the game after leaving Bolton Wanderers last October.

And he doesn’t feel his past ties to Wigan’s closest rivals will affect his ability to achieve the immediate goal of winning promotion back to the big time.

“Ultimately, whenever someone comes into a new job, they won’t be judged by what’s happened in the past,” Coyle said.

“They will be judged on what they do moving forward, and I know I will be judged solely on what I do here at Wigan Athletic.

“Roberto proved here that he was a very good manager, but I’ve proved over eight years that I’ve had nothing but success.

“I believe Everton have got themselves a tremendous manager and a very good man in Roberto, but I also believe in my own ability.

“We played Wigan Athletic eight times with Bolton Wanderers and we only lost once.

“I’ve been very fortunate in both my playing career and managerial career to be very successful, and it’s something I’m looking forward to continuing at Wigan Athletic.”

Coyle pointed to the stability at Wigan as a major attraction to the job, and is hoping to enjoy the kind of watertight relationship with the chairman that underpinned Martinez’s reign.

“The one thing this chairman has always done – and I was always envious looking in – is to back his managers,” Coyle said.

“If his managers have felt there are good players out there that they wanted, he has paid decent transfer fees to get those players in.

“The most important relationship at any club is between the manager and the chairman, and that will drive Wigan Athletic forward in the future.”

Coyle’s immediate priority is to bolster the squad ahead of the new season, after the loss of 10 senior players since the end of last term. He’ll also face a battle to keep hold of prize assets such as James McCarthy, but the new man remains pragmatic about the situation. “As a football club we don’t want to sell anybody and we don’t have to sell anybody,” he said.

“But we understand how football works, and when you have very talented players then there will always be interest.

“Obviously there are players here who will be coveted by other clubs, and the chairman has shown down the years that he won’t stand in anyone’s way if the offer is right for this club.

“That’s something that we’ll have to address if the situation arises, but the chairman has told me that money would always be reinvested into the football club which is great for me to hear.

“At this moment in time there has been no need to speak to any of the players.

“Most of those lads are away on holiday, and I always feel that when you talk to someone over the phone they can say what you want.

“When you sit down with someone, you see the colour of their eyes, you know what they’re thinking and those are the kind of chats I like to have.

“There is no necessity to have those kind of chats just yet.”

And Coyle can’t wait to get started with a group of players he is convinced can achieve their goals both next season and beyond.

“Sometimes you come into a football club and you identify players who you think won’t play in your team,” he added. “That’s not the case here. Every player here is capable.”

SEE THE WIGAN OBSERVER (TUESDAY) FOR MORE ON WIGAN’S COYLE APPOINTMENT ...