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 Posted by ESPN Staff
May, 26, 2009

Coyle looking forward to Premier League test

Newly-promoted Burnley will carry the fight to Manchester United next season despite knowing the town's entire population could fit into Old Trafford with a few seats to spare.

Wade Elliott's excellent 13th-minute effort was enough to take the Clarets back into the top flight after a 33-year absence.

It further enhanced the reputation of manager Owen Coyle on the day Gordon Strachan left the Celtic hotseat vacant and ensured a £60million windfall will be winging its way to Turf Moor.

Given the squad Coyle has crafted cost a paltry £2.5million, the former St Johnstone boss will need to spend a substantial portion of it if Burnley are to survive.

But his side will not lack effort as they bid to celebrate the 50th anniversary of their league championship triumph by preserving their status.

"The Premier League is full of the best players in the world, and some of the top managers in Alex Ferguson and Arsene Wenger and so forth," he said.

"We had 36,000 supporters at Wembley, which is about half our population.

"That means when Manchester United play at home there are more people at Old Trafford than there are in the whole town of Burnley."

For all the penalty claims Sheffield United had, the Clarets were the better side throughout and would have added to Elliott's curling effort if Robbie Blake had been able to take one of two second-half chances that came his way.

The Blades last chance disappeared with the dismissal of Jamie Ward and they ended an unhappy afternoon with only nine men as Lee Hendrie was red carded by referee Mike Dean after the final whistle.

Given the campaign began with a 4-1 defeat at Sheffield Wednesday, followed by a home hammering by Ipswich, it could not have had a better ending for a club that came within two minutes of reaching their Carling Cup final after agonisingly missing out on adding Tottenham to a list of scalps that included Fulham, Chelsea and Arsenal.

And it appears the chance to manage among England's elite should keep Coyle at Burnley even if Celtic do come calling.

"I didn't know there was a vacancy at Celtic," he said. "It's flattering that people mention your name, but I'm with Burnley.

"I'll concentrate my job on what I am doing here, and long may that continue."

Chairman Barry Kilby questioned why Coyle would want to quit and deny himself the chance to build on his achievement.

"I have nothing but praise for Owen," he said. "He has worked on one of the smallest budgets in the whole of the Championship and has done a fantastic job.

"He is ambitious and young but he is contracted to Burnley and he relishes the prospect of pitting his wits against the best, managing Burnley in the Premier League."

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