The new Bolton manager Owen Coyle has spoken of the frustration he felt at Burnley, a club in need of £30m to compete with the rest of the Premier League, and dismissed the suggestion that he has betrayed the club in his move across Lancashire.
"The local newspaper had a front page with a headline that said 'Betrayed' and if that's how people want to portray it, that's up to them," Coyle said yesterday as Bolton introduced him as their manager. "But I can look in the mirror and know that I haven't told a lie throughout the whole thing. There was a sense of frustration that I wanted to take it on maybe faster than everything was set up for because of finance.
"My problem in the longer term is, come the summer, [it needed] £30million or whatever it was to take it on to a level playing field. Someone would say 'even if Burnley went down – God forbid – you'd still have a job' but I don't want to just have a job. I want to be good at what I do and win games and take things on."
The 43-year-old said he expects the fans he has left at Turf Moor "to come and vent their frustration" when the clubs meet at the Reebok Stadium in only Coyle's third game on 26 January. But he insisted his widely criticised decision to leave for Scotland without giving a press conference after Burnley's FA Cup third round win at MK Dons on 2 January was justified because he had a 5.30pm car booked to take a flight from Luton Airport to join his mother in Glasgow.
He also "didn't want to go in and tell anyone any lies," he said. "People have said I've been evasive but I'd rather be evasive than tell anybody a lie. The flights were booked a week earlier."
Coyle, who has brought his reserve team coach Steve Davis from Turf Moor, depriving the Clarets of their stand-in manager, said he believed Bolton had "parity with the rest of the established Premier League."
He would not feel guilt if Burnley were now relegated, he said, but certainly regret.