Coyle reveals 'high regard' for Pulis
olton boss Owen Coyle has spoken of his admiration for Stoke counterpart Tony Pulis ahead of Saturday's clash at the Reebok Stadium. Pulis' Potters were one of three sides - along with Blackburn and Wolves - picked out by Danny Murphy last week when the Fulham captain talked about reckless challenges and claimed players are being injured because certain managers are sending their teams out too fired up. Coyle is convinced no manager would instruct a player to injure an opponent and has criticised Murphy for singling out individuals - particularly somebody of Pulis' calibre. "Tony Pulis doesn't need anybody defending him," Coyle said. "The job speaks for itself and, out with all the football side, he is a fantastic man. "There is no doubt that he is a terrific manager and he has shown his qualities year in, year out but away from that he is a lovely man, a caring man and someone I have high regard for." Pulis has received wide acclaim over the last few years for his achievements in guiding Stoke into the top flight and establishing them there. The Staffordshire outfit suffered three straight losses in the league at the start of this campaign but have since taken 10 points from a possible 12, which has come as no surprise to Coyle. "They are in terrific form and they had a slow start, but we all knew if would only be a matter of time before they got that first result and got up and running," Coyle said. "So it has proved and they have shown their quality. We know it is a tough game, but it is one we are looking forward to - we are at home and we have to look to capitalise on that." Bolton's players have enjoyed some success themselves this week with captain Kevin Davies making his England debut and winger Lee Chung-yong being named Premier League player of the year at the MBNA North West Football Awards. South Korea international Lee has impressed since joining Wanderers in 2009 but Coyle admits he will need to be careful about the amount of football the 22-year-old is playing if he is to continue to get the best out of him. Asked if Lee's commitments were a concern for later in the season, Coyle said: "Yes. We have to remember that it has now probably been two years that he has played without a break. "I gave him four weeks after the World Cup, but that is it in two years. It is something that I am aware of and that we will have to look at. "To be fair to the national manager, for the last international trip he didn't go because it was a friendly - I spoke to him about it and he was very good about it. "We have to make sure that we nurture that and that we don't burn the lad out, because he has a terrific career ahead of him." Johan Elmander's form has also caught the eye over the last few weeks, with the striker netting four times in Wanderers' seven league games so far this term. Elmander, who previously struggled to make an impact at Bolton, was quoted earlier this week as saying that he was unhappy with the approach of former Trotters boss Gary Megson, but Coyle is sure the Swede is enjoying himself now. "What happened before I can't comment on because I wasn't here and I don't know what happened in terms of what Johan's perception of it was," Coyle said. "What I do know is that he is playing ever so well, he is showing what a good player he is and he looks like he is enjoying his football, which is important for him. Long may that continue. "I believe I have a quality striker on my hands in Johan Elmander and it is for me as a manager to try and nurture that and bring the best out of him." On the subject of a new contract for Elmander, Coyle said: "I have had a chat with the chairman and the owner as you do, and when the time is right - which shouldn't be too far away - I'm pretty sure we'll get round to trying to sort something out on that. "Johan knows that he has a manager that believes in him and wants him at the football club."
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