Coyle plays down Ferguson spat

01 April 2010 03:29
olton boss Owen Coyle is sure there has been no lasting damage to his relationship with Sir Alex Ferguson after their spat earlier this week.

Following Bolton's 4-0 defeat to Manchester United on Saturday, Coyle complained of a "terrible challenge" from Nemanja Vidic on Johan Elmander.

The Sweden striker was floored by an elbow from Vidic that left him with blood pouring from a head wound which required six stitches.

That prompted a sharp riposte from Ferguson, who said: "What is the old saying about people in glass houses?

"When Nemanja Vidic came off at half-time he had a lump on his head the size of an egg, his cheek was swollen and he had a black eye."

Coyle, who had eulogised about Ferguson being "the best manager in the world, and a role model for anybody in football," before the game, insists he and his fellow Scot have not fallen out.

Asked if he had spoken to Ferguson since, Coyle said: "To be honest, I don't know why I would hear from him.

"We sat and spoke after the game, as we always we do, and that was it. What happened, happened and you move on.

"Whatever anybody wants to say is up to them. The game was last week and for me it's finished with. I've moved on.

"You get nothing out of looking back at what happened last week. It won't affect anything now. Saturday night was closure on it."

Elmander has at least been cleared to play ahead of Saturday's Premier League clash with Aston Villa at the Reebok Stadium.

Coyle is grateful his forward, who has scored just five goals for Bolton all season, has suffered no lasting effects.

"He had six stitches and we had to nurse him a little bit at the start of the week," Coyle added.

"But he is fit to play, available, and I'm sure he will look to do his best."

A doubt, though, hangs over defender Paul Robinson who missed the United game with an ankle injury.

Coyle added: "We're hoping he will train at some point ahead of the game on Saturday.

"He'll certainly have to to be in contention, so we'll look at that one."

Fellow defender Gretar Steinsson is available after he sat out the loss to United through suspension following his red card in the 2-0 defeat at Everton a week earlier.

Coyle still has five key players out with long-term injuries in Stuart Holden, Chris Basham, Gavin McCann, Sean Davis and Joey O'Brien.

Source: Team_Talk