OWEN Coyle will return to football as manager of Wigan Athletic and one of his first competitive matches will be a glamour Wembley clash with David Moyes’ Manchester United in the Community Shield.
• Wigan chairman backs Owen Coyle as right man for the job
• Deal agreed in principle to replace Roberto Martinez, says Dave Whelan
Glasgow-born Coyle was confirmed yesterday as Roberto Martinez’s successor at the DW Stadium.
Coyle, sacked as Bolton boss last October, has been selected by Latics chairman Dave Whelan having beaten off competition from close to 50 applicants, with former England coach Steve McClaren also understood to have been among a final shortlist of three or four candidates. A statement on Wigan’s website read: “Wigan Athletic are delighted to confirm the appointment of new manager Owen Coyle.
“Following discussions with the club on Friday afternoon, the 46-year-old has now agreed terms to become the 37th manager of the club and begins work immediately.”
Coyle’s appointment comes ten days after Martinez’s departure was confirmed, the Spaniard taking up the managerial vacancy at Everton.
Martinez led the club to memorable FA Cup glory last season but opted to leave after they also suffered relegation from the Barclays Premier League.
Coyle’s priority next term will be to secure an immediate return to the top flight, although he will also have Europa League football to contend with for the first time in the club’s history.
He told Sky Sports News: “Everybody recognises Wigan as a fantastic club with a chairman who wants to get back in the Premier League. It was a blow to lose that status and we will look to get it back as quickly as possible. It’s a great opportunity and one I am looking forward to.”
Coyle’s first competitive match will be Wigan’s npower Championship opener on 3 August – with the new fixtures due to be released on Wednesday – while they will also contest the Community Shield against Manchester United at Wembley on 11 August.