Wigan boss Coyle rubbishes poppy talk over ex-Sunderland winger McClean

Owen Coyle
Owen Coyle
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WIGAN BOSS Owen Coyle has labelled the suggestion that former Sunderland winger James McClean missed yesterday’s Championship clash with Yeovil for anything other than football reasons as “embarrassing”.

McClean was absent from the matchday squad as Wigan recorded their first away win since the opening day of the campaign, with rumours quickly circulating that he had refused to wear a shirt embroidered with a poppy.

The Derry-born winger received death threats and faced a storm of criticism last season at Sunderland after opting to wear an unmarked shirt against Everton in the run-up to Remembrance Day.

But Coyle revealed McClean had sustained a dead leg in training and would have played had he been fit.

“James McClean wasn’t rested - the only reason he didn’t play was because he was injured, it’s as simple as that,” said Coyle.

“He would certainly have been involved if he was fit. The bottom line is that he wasn’t. He has a dead leg.

“I brought James to this club from Sunderland and I paid a lot of money for him because he’s an outstanding player.

“He’s been wonderful for me, he’s going to have a wonderful career and he is a great lad.

“You all know me, I’m never evasive and always up front.

“But I’m actually embarrassed that I’m getting asked that question in this day and age.”