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Blake leaves Clarets with heavy heart
Published : 02 Jul 2010 08:00:00
Robbie Blake admits he would still be at Burnley in an ideal world but is confident Owen Coyle will get the best out of him again at Bolton. Blake was reunited with his old boss this week after signing for Wanderers on a free transfer. Under Coyle, the striker played an important part in getting Burnley promoted to the Premier League and started last season with a bang by scoring a memorable winner against Manchester United in the first top-flight match to be held at Turf Moor for 33 years. Things turned sour for Blake after Coyle's defection to the Reebok Stadium in January and Brian Laws' appointment as manager, as he struggled to get a game in a Clarets team that was eventually relegated. With his contract coming to an end, Blake was left feeling the only way was out and the former Leeds frontman is delighted to be joining forces with Coyle once again. Asked if it had been hard for him to decide to leave Turf Moor, Blake said: "It was difficult and it wasn't difficult, because of circumstances at the football club where I didn't feel wanted or as if I was going to be playing games. "In an ideal situation it would have been great to have been given that opportunity to stay there - if I'm being honest, I did want to stay there. "But to be given this opportunity at Bolton is fantastic - to work under a manager as good as Owen Coyle, who has brought the best out of me more than any other manager has done. I can't wait to get going." Blake will face a battle to get into the Bolton team, but the 34-year-old - who has also had top-flight experience with Bradford and Birmingham - feels he still has plenty to offer. He said: "I've not stayed in this league as many seasons on the spin as I would like, but I've certainly played my part in Premier League teams. "I feel I can play a big part at Bolton Wanderers and see them climbing the league." Blake, who made more than 200 appearances in two separate spells with Burnley, retains a great affection for the Clarets and hopes to see them make a swift return to the Premier League. "I think they have got the players to be in the top two or three in that league (the npower Championship) and I really do hope they go up," Blake said. "I've got some great mates at the club and I really enjoyed my time with the players and the fans. "The club is great and I wish them all the very best to get back in the Premier League." Blake took part in his first training session with his new team-mates yesterday morning, along with Bulgaria midfielder Martin Petrov, who has also arrived after being released by Manchester City.