Burnley boss Owen Coyle distances himself from Celtic talk

After winning promotion to the Premier League with Burnley, Owen Coyle appears to be a man in demand. Only a few days after watching his team defeat Sheffield United in the Championship play-off final, he was linked with the vacant manager’s position at Celtic.

Gordon Strachan resigned from the post after the last game of the season and being a boyhood Hoops fan, Owen Coyle was immediately touted as one of the favourites.

However, in some news that will please Burnley fans greatly, the Scotsman has distanced himself from the speculation. He said that everyone is ‘putting two and two together and making five’. Just because he supported Celtic as a boy, doesn’t mean that he will take the position.

There is no doubt that his long-term future is uncertain, but as for what Owen Coyle’s next step will be – he is going on holiday. He is taking a well-earned break and doing so ‘as Burnley manager’.

As for the club themselves, well they are obviously very keen to keep hold of the man who has guided them to the top flight. They have offered him a contract extension and stated on their website that they have ‘not received any official approach from Celtic’, nor would they welcome one.

In the end though, it will all come down to what Owen Coyle wants to do. If he decides that the Celtic job is too hard to turn down – he will go.

However, to manage in the Premier League is also a huge opportunity and one that doesn’t come along too often.

Steve Coppell resigns as Reading boss after Burnley reach Wembley final

Steve Coppell has resigned from his position as Reading manager after watching his side miss out on a place in the Championship play-off final. The Royals lost 2-0 at home to Burnley and went out 3-0 on aggregate to Owen Coyle’s men.

The former Crystal Palace boss had been in charge of Reading since 2003 and enjoyed many successful times including two seasons in the Premier League.

Following relegation back to the Championship though, Steve Coppell’s men were unable to secure an automatic promotion spot and have now missed out on promotion altogether.

Speaking about his resignation, Steve Coppell said that he thought it was the ‘best thing for the club’ that he steps down as manager. As for his six year spell at Reading, the 53-year-old said that he had ‘thoroughly enjoyed his time’ at the club.

It was a disappointing end for Steve Coppell though as many expected his team to bounce back to the Premier League at the first time of asking. However, their home form slipped at the wrong time and they were beaten to a place in the top two by Birmingham City on the final day.

This meant that they had to play Burnley in the semi-final of the play-offs in order to continue their promotion dream. However, after a 1-0 defeat at Turf Moor, The Royals were stunned at the Madjeski Stadium when goals from nMartin Paterson and Steven Thompson handed Burnley a 2-0 win.

Steve Coppell refused to comment on his future in the press conference after the game, but announced his decision to resign a few hours later.
As for Burnley, they will now meet Sheffield United in the English Football League Championship play-off final at Wembley for a place in the Premier League.

The Championship play-off final takes place on Monday 25th May and it is likely to be a very tense encounter.

Steve Coppell plays down retirement talk

Reading manager Steve Coppell has denied claims that he will walk away from football at the end of the season. It has been suggested that he will resign from Reading, regardless of whether they go up or not.

Speaking after watching his side win 2-0 at Norwich to keep alive their hopes of automatic promotion from the English Football Championship to the Premiership, Steve Coppell said that even though many people have congratulated him on his retirement, the reports are ‘absolute rubbish’.

The Reading boss went on to say that ‘no one has any idea’ what he is up to this summer and that it is ‘nonsense’ to suggest that he will retire from football management.

Overall, Steve Coppell was very defensive about the whole situation. It is clearly untrue that he has already decided to retire, but you get the impression that he is giving it some thought.

The former Crystal Palace manager has been at Reading for six years now and has achieved great things at the club. However, there comes a time when a manager has taken a team as far as he can.

If Reading fail to seal promotion this season, has Steve Coppell got the motivation and drive to lead another push for the Premier League next year? It’s a difficult one to judge, so we will just have to wait and see.

Nothing will be decided before the last game of the season is out of the way as this will determine whether Reading have to settle for a play-off spot or not.

Sylvan Ebanks Blake cleans up at Football League Awards

Wolves striker Sylvan Ebanks Blake was celebrating over the weekend as he picked up two of the most significant Football League Awards for his efforts this season.

Sylvan Ebanks Blake was named Championship player of the year, beating Reading’s Kevin Doyle and team-mate Michael Kightly to the top prize. It comes on the back of scoring 24 league goals for top of the table Wolves.

The 23-year-old also picked up the award for Football League goal of the year for his solo effort against Charlton in March last year. Overall, he had a very successful evening and will be proud of what he has achieved since joining Wolves.

The biggest prize for the former Plymouth man could still be yet to come though – promotion to the Premiership. Mick McCarthy’s men are currently five points clear at the top of the Championship with six games to play.

Automatic promotion is more important than winning the league though and as far as that is concerned, they are nine points clear of 3rd place Reading. The Royals do have a game in hand though.

Given the current situation, it seems very unlikely that Wolves will mess things up now. They would have to lose at least two of their remaining games and considering they have won four out of their last five games, this would mean a drastic drop in form.

As for the other Championship players or clubs that were awarded, Crystal Palace’s Sean Scannell picked up the Championship apprentice award, Charlton were winners of the Community club of the year and Wolves were recognised as the family club of the year.

The main winner was Sylvan Ebanks Blake though and he will be hoping that he is able to celebrate again in six games’ time having helped Wolves secure promotion to the Premier League.

Billy Davies apologises to Forest fans after hammering at Burnley

Nottingham Forest manager Billy Davies was far from happy with his side after they suffered a 5-0 defeat at the hands of Burnley on Saturday.

The hammering leaves Nottm Forest just one point above the drop zone with eight games left to play this season. There is no doubt that they are in a relegation battle and more performances like this one will see them go straight back to League One.

In fact, the display from the Forest players was so bad that Billy Davies has revealed that his first priority after the game was centred around ‘apologising to the travelling fans’.

The former Preston and Derby boss admitted that his team showed a ‘lack of desire and commitment’ throughout the 90 minutes. Overall, he said that he was ‘very disappointed’ with the Forest players who appeared to ‘lack a will to win’.

Elsewhere in the race to stay in the Championship, there were important wins for Blackpool, Norwich and Watford. Charlton lost again though and Southampton had to settle for a draw at home to Queens Park Rangers.

As things stand, Charlton are the team propping up the table and considering they are 13 points from safety, they will already be planning for next season in the third tier of English football.

Other than that, it could be very tight indeed with two teams from Blackpool, Plymouth, Norwich, Nottingham Forest and Southampton likely to join Charlton in being relegated.

It is very likely that it could go down to the last couple of games, so we are in for an exciting and tense few weeks at the bottom of the Championship table.