Wigan boss Coyle confident controversy is behind McClean after Sunderland move

James McClean. Picture courtesy of Wigan Athletic

James McClean. Picture courtesy of Wigan Athletic

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WIGAN boss Owen Coyle is confident James McClean can make headlines on the field, rather than off it, after completing his move from Sunderland.

McClean left the Stadium of Light this week in a £2million deal after agreeing a three-year contract with relegated Wigan.

The 24-year-old has been dogged by controversy since exploding into Sunderland’s first-team in the second half of the 2011-12 campaign under Martin O’Neill.

McClean was involved with several Twitter spats, while he came in for a barrage of criticism after opting not to a wear a poppy embroidered shirt to mark Remembrance Day.

But Coyle said today: “We have all done silly things as young men.

“The bottom line is, having had a chat with him, I know he is focused and just wants to concentrate on his football.

“If we get James McClean doing that, there is no doubt he is a huge talent.

“He took the Premier League by storm with his wing play, not only his quality on the ball but how hard he works off the ball for his team.

“He is a Republic of Ireland international. He has won 14 caps at a young age. There is no doubt he can go from strength to strength.”

McClean was pushed down the pecking order at Sunderland following the arrival of Italian international Emanuele Giaccherini, while Paolo Di Canio is thought to have harboured reservations over the Republic of Ireland international too.

And Coyle has revealed that McClean was so eager to join Wigan, that he agreed to take a pay cut after penning a lucrative contract at Sunderland in March, 2012.

“He took a drop in salary to come, such was his desire to play football,” added Coyle.

“That was fantastic to see in a young man.

“All too often in football, finance is the motivation for some players.

“It is great to have someone at your football club who is prepared to take a step back because he believes it will eventually lead to making two forward.”