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Football Whispers

Coyle sacked as Bolton manager

Bolton Wanderers have sacked manager Owen Coyle after a dismal start to life in the Championship following relegation from the Premier League.

Coyle, 46, joined Wanderers in January 2010, moving to the club from Lancashire neighbours Burnley in acrimonious circumstances.

The Scot replaced Gary Megson, who had been sacked with Bolton in trouble at the foot of the table, and steered them to safety - finishing nine points clear of Burnley, who were relegated.

The 2010-11 season saw him guide Bolton to the FA Cup semi-final, in which they lost 5-0 to Stoke - a defeat that sparked a late-season collapse in league form as they tumbled down the table - before they succumbed to the drop on the final day of last season.

Pressure on Coyle had been growing as his team struggled to adapt to the Championship, winning only three of their first ten matches.

Sections of the travelling Wanderers support called for Coyle to be sacked after a recent 3-1 loss at Hull, with the same thing happening after Millwall inflicted a last-gasp defeat at The Den on Saturday.

Coyle described the Millwall setback, which left Bolton 18th, as the lowest point of his career, but insisted that he would not walk away from the club.

However, after talks with owner Eddie Davies and chairman Phil Gartside this week, he was relieved of his duties at the Reebok Stadium along with assistants Sandy Stewart and Steve Davis.

Gartside paid tribute to Coyle for putting his "heart and soul into the job, both on and off the pitch" but added: "It is the right time for a change. We set a target at the beginning of the season, and want to get back on track.

"I would like to place on record our sincere thanks to Owen, Sandy Stewart and Steve Davis for all their hard work during their time at Bolton Wanderers."

Coyle, who in addition to managing Bolton had served the club as a player between 1993 and 1995, said he had "always been driven to act in the best interests of the club and care passionately about it".

He said: "I had fantastic times here as a player, and it has been a privilege to have held the post of manager.

"I want to thank the fans for their backing since I returned, the chairman Phil Gartside and the owner Eddie Davies for their support and friendship, and the staff and players for all their effort and commitment. I wish everyone connected with Bolton Wanderers all the very best."

Bolton said their academy manager Jimmy Phillips and head of academy coaching and development Sammy Lee, who had a spell as manager before Megson's arrival, will take temporary charge.

Early reports indicate that former Wolves manager Mick McCarthy is among the front-runners for the job.


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