Ricketts decision pained Coyle
Owen Coyle believes the decision to leave out Sam Ricketts was one of the toughest of his career.
By Ben Collins
Last Updated: 04/10/10 11:55am
Bolton boss Owen Coyle believes the decision to leave out Sam Ricketts at West Brom was one of the toughest of his career.
Normally a right-back, Ricketts had excelled covering in the centre of defence while England international Gary Cahill was serving a three-match suspension for his red card at Arsenal.
But Coyle opted to bring Cahill straight back into the side following his ban and he vindicated the manager's decision by producing a man-of-the-match display as Bolton claimed a third straight Premier League draw.
"I've made some big decisions in my football career but that was one of the toughest," Coyle told the Bolton Evening News.
"Gary Cahill is a quality player but Sam Ricketts has been outstanding. I sat and tried to explain to Sam and he should be disappointed because I had more than 11 players who deserved to start. That's the job of being a manager.
Big part to play
"Sam's got a big, big part to play at this football club, but Gary Cahill is a top centre half."
Cahill made his England debut against Bulgaria last month as a substitute for the injured Michael Dawson but rather than bring Cahill into the starting line-up for the trip to Switzerland four days later, Fabio Capello opted for Manchester City's Joleon Lescott.
Coyle admitted that was a blow for Cahill but he has been impressed with the way the 24-year-old has reacted and believes the ex-Aston Villa man is one of the best defenders in the Premier League.
"If you name any centre half in this country, I'll take Gary Cahill every day," he said.
"Gary Cahill has come through the disappointment against Switzerland and the sending off at Arsenal, and come back with a perfect performance.
"He's going to be a big star and a top player for England for many years to come."