Bolton Wanderers chairman Phil Gartside has sacked former Republic of Ireland international striker Owen Coyle following the club’s poor start to the English Championship season.
The Trotters, relegated from the Premier League last term, currently lie 18th in the Championship after managing just three wins in their first 10 matches.
A statement on the club’s Twitter page confirmed Coyle had been “relieved of his duties” having taken over from Gary Megson in January 2010.
The man who earned one senior cap for the Republic of Ireland led the club to Premier League safety from 18th position that (2010-’11) season, but could not save them last season and their relegation was confirmed on the final day of the season.
The Paisley native’s attempt to win an immediate return to the top flight of English has begun badly.
Saturday’s defeat at Millwall was a fourth loss away from home, and there have been just three victories in 10 games with the club above the drop zone only on goal difference.
Chairman Gartside stated on the club’s official website: “It is the right time for a change. We set a target at the beginning of the season and want to get back on track.
“Owen poured his heart and soul into the job, and he led our club with great dignity during some very challenging times. I would like to place on record our sincere thanks to Owen, Sandy Stewart and Steve Davis.”
Coyle, aged 46, said immediately after news of his sacking had been made public: “I have always been driven to act in the best interests of the club and care passionately about it. I had fantastic times here as a player and it has been a privilege to have held the post of manager.”
Coyle is something of a cult hero in Bolton and he will arguably be most fondly remembered for the dignity he showed in dealing with Fabrice Muamba’s cardiac arrest, which happened during the Trotters’ FA Cup clash with Spurs in January and led to the Zaire native’s premature retirement from football.
Academy manager Jimmy Phillips and head of academy coaching Sammy Lee have been put in temporary charge.
Mick McCarthy is the early favourite to replace Coyle with the former Republic of Ireland manager’s odds quickly cut into approximately 7/4 by most bookmakers.
There was also early money for Peter Reid at 25/1.
Graeme Souness, initially offered at 5s, drifted to 14/1, with Roy Keane taking over as second favourite at 10/1.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, recently linked with the vacancy at Bolton’s local rivals Blackburn, was cut from 16s to join a host of candidates on 12/1.
Other interesting names on the list include former Blackburn boss Steve Kean (25/1), Kenny Dalglish (25/1) and former Trotters defender Fernando Hierro at 22s.