Coyle hopes to kick-start season against United
Tuesday 18 August 2009
Sir Alex Ferguson is almost known as much for his love of fine wine as winning trophies but while Jose Mourinho gave him a bottle of Sassicaia worth £300 last season, he may have to settle for an Irn Bru at Turf Moor tomorrow night.
Ferguson has been impressed by the work of Owen Coyle, who has guided Burnley into the Premier League thanks to a play-off final victory, and among the congratulatory messages the Scot received in the aftermath of the Wembley victory was a note from the United manager requesting a wine list.
Being teetotal is not the only reason why Coyle may not be able to oblige. "It's funny because it was part of his congratulatory message," Coyle said. "He said 'Send me the wine list'. Whether the salary stretches to that I'm not sure but we'll do our best."
Coyle, 43, who is hoping to tie up a deal for the Reading defender Andre Bikey, can not hide his admiration for his fellow countryman and would love to still be in management at 67.
"Ultimately we all love football, don't we? We wish we were still players and running about but this is the next best thing when that passes you by because you retain that enthusiasm.
"That's the thing about Sir Alex Ferguson. In each and every game it's as if it's his first game and if you have that genuine love of football it never leaves you. So of course you want to be involved. It's the best game in the world and you want to be involved as long as you can."
After a summer of anticipation, the 2-0 opening day defeat at Stoke must have come as a sobering jolt in Burnley, particularly as their next four matches are against United, Everton, Chelsea and Liverpool, but Coyle will stick with his purist football philosophy against some of Europe's best.
"What we have to do when that ball rolls is do ourselves justice and make sure we do enough to get some points out of the game," he added. "We know it's a difficult start but we won't be discouraged or disillusioned. I certainly won't be and it's my job to make sure the players aren't. We'll do everything we can to get about the champions and show we can play a little bit."
Two United players, Edwin van der Sar and Nemanja Vidic, have been shortlisted for Uefa's Club Footballer of the Year. Cristiano Ronaldo is also included for his exploits as a United player, while Petr Cech, John Terry and Steven Gerrard complete the Premier League's representation. The remaining six are all from Barcelona, including Xavi Hernandez, Andres Iniesta and Lionel Messi who are the favourites to win the award next week.
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