Wigan manager Owen Coyle has left the club following a sequence of three consecutive home defeats which left the club in 14th position in the Championship and on the verge of Europa Cup elimination.
The Wigan fans grew increasingly restless during Sunday’s disappointing 3-1 defeat to Derby County and following discussions with Wigan Chairman Dave Whelan, Coyle left the club ‘by mutual agreement’.
According to the club, both Dave Whelan and Owen Coyle have agreed that this is the right course of action in the best interests of both parties.
Owen Coyle said: “It is with great sadness that we have made this decision and I would like to thank all my football staff and the staff at the club, who have been very supportive of me in my time here. I am confident that with this set of players, the team can keep moving in the right direction.”
Latics first team coach and former manager Graham Barrow and Assistant Manager Sandy Stewart will take charge of the team for the visit to Leeds United on Wednesday night.
Coyle did not endear himself to the fans following the Derby defeat when
he called for a reality-check from those disgruntled by their start to the season.
“If it comes through expectation then so be it,” Coyle said of the discontent.
“The expectation can only come from being in the Premier League because it’s not as if Wigan Athletic have been winning games every week for four or five years, far from it. Wigan Athletic have been in the bottom three for the last four, five years and managed a few times to escape and they’ve done brilliantly to do that.
“They won the (FA) Cup which was brilliant but they lost their place in the Premier League and with them losing their place, the players, the ones of big value, left.
“It’s building that team and putting it together. If people want to be ultra-critical that’s the nature of football these days.
“I’m old enough to deal with that; if they think there’s something better that’s all well and good. That’s why we love football, it’s all opinion.”
Coyle’s record in 23 competitive matches was Won 7, Drawn 6, Lost 10.
The bookies early favourites for the managerial role include Ian Holloway, Mike Phelan, Paul Jewell and Karl Robinson. None of these names should create much enthusiasm amongst Latics fans.
I would personally prefer a manager who restores the passing football that characterised the Roberto Martinez era. Many of the FA Cup winning squad remain at the club and with the addition of some new players in the January transfer window an assault on the play-offs could still be within their reach.