Owen Coyle on Bolton's Success and John McGinlay

  • March 11, 2013 | By Chris Mann
  • URL Short URL: http://b-ac.es/ae4e1

Owen Coyle has spoken about his playing days at Bolton, his friendship with John McGinlay and surprise departure to Dundee United.

Coyle joined Wanderers in a £250,000 transfer from Airdrieonians in the summer of 1993 and enjoyed a very successful two-year stay at Burnden Park.

He was part of the team that won promotion to the Premier League in 1995 and was on the scoresheet as the Trotters came from 2-0 down to beat Reading in the Division One play-off final.

In an exclusive interview with talkSPORT, Coyle admits it was a good period to be a Bolton player and his two years at the club are times he looks back at with fond memories.

"Bruce Rioch was putting a team together," Coyle said. "They got promoted into the Championship (Division 1) when I joined and signed a number of players that summer including Alan Thompson and Steve Fulton.

"They signed four or five and when you put it all together, out with the footballing ability, the team spirit was second to none. Me and John McGinlay hit it off straight away - he's one of my very best friends to this day.

"There was a real chemistry within the squad. We had a magnificent cup run and that probably affected the league form in the first year, but in the second year we put it all together and got promoted via the play-offs.

"It was easy to play with John McGinlay because he worked his socks off. He had a heart the size of a lion and would do anything for Bolton Wanderers, and still would. It was a real pleasure to play with somebody of that quality.

When asked if McGinlay was the most enjoyable strike partner of his career, Coyle simply responded: "Yes, simply because of the chemistry we had.

"I had lots of strike partners throughout my career, but the great thing about John McGinlay is he's someone who went out an earned something. He started in the non-league, worked his way through, came into Bolton Wanderers and then played for Scotland. I went up to watch him and he scored the winner against Sweden at Ibrox. He was just an outstanding player and he's a top lad."

Although Bolton were back in the top tier of English football for the first time since 1980, Coyle made a surprise move to Dundee United just a matter of weeks into the season.

Despite being a huge favourite with Wanderers supporters, he admits his decision to leave the club was purely down to footballing reasons - because he could not be guaranteed a regular place in the Bolton team.

"I left in the October and went to Dundee United for a very simple reason," he said. "I just loved playing.

"We had just got to the Premier League and although I had started a couple of games, more often than not I was on the bench and I just wanted to play.

"Bruce (Rioch) had left for Arsenal and Colin Todd had taken over with Roy McFarland. McFarland was very straight with you. I went to him and said 'I just want to play' and he said 'I don't see you starting, but you'll always be a part because of what you bring to the team and the club'.

"I just wanted to play and although there was some interest from English clubs, I decided to go to Dundee United."

In total, Coyle played 78 times during his time at Bolton Wanderers - scoring 23 times.

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Sky Bet League Two Standings

Pos Team Pld Pts
19 Exeter City 2 1
20 Tranmere Rovers 2 1
21 Bolton Wanderers 2 0
22 Oldham Athletic 2 0
23 Grimsby Town 2 0
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