Coyle defends Davies challenge
Owen Coyle has defended Kevin Davies after his challenge on Tom Cleverley left the Man Utd youngster with damaged ankle ligaments.
Last Updated: 15/09/11 3:00pm
Bolton boss Owen Coyle has defended Kevin Davies after his challenge on Tom Cleverley left the Manchester United youngster with damaged ankle ligaments.
The incident occurred during last weekend's clash at the Reebok Stadium, when the Trotters were beaten 5-0 by Sir Alex Ferguson's men.
Davies, who was not booked for the tackle, has found himself the subject of fury from United fans this week after he left Cleverley facing a spell on the sidelines.
It later emerged the Bolton striker had contacted the Red Devils midfielder after the match to apologise and wish him a swift recovery.
Coyle insists there was no malice in the challenge and suggests Davies is only receiving such severe backlash because the foul was against the Premier League champions.
"To be honest I don't know what there was to sort out," Coyle told Sky Sports News. "Kevin Davies made a challenge, it was a free kick, there was no doubt about it.
"He certainly never went in with any malice to hurt Tom Cleverley, who he's wished a speedy recovery. There was no intent from Kevin to try and hurt the lad.
"He's an outstanding young player who picked up an injury on the back of it. That was it, it happens up and down the country, every game.
"Is it because it was Manchester United, who are the champions? I don't know.
He added: "What he's had to deal with for me has been well over the top.
"Kevin, being the lad he is, phoned Tom on Saturday night to make sure he was going to be OK.
"That's always a concern. These players know the demands of the Premier League and they don't want to see anybody injured. Nobody wants that.
"If something is reckless or dangerous let's stamp that out. But there will be challenges that happen up and down the country.
"Kevin Davies is a consummate professional. He's not got a bad bone in his body. He's physical, he's powerful, he probably gets hit more than anybody but he just gets up and gets on with it. That's just the type of lad he is.
"From our point of view at Bolton Wanderers we wish the lad a speedy recovery but it was just a mistimed challenge and that's all it was."