Coyle retracts 'assault' slur
Owen Coyle admits he was a little too harsh on William Gallas after his challenge on Mark Davies.
By Richard Bailey
Last Updated: 22/01/10 2:14pm
Owen Coyle admits that he was perhaps a little too harsh on Arsenal defender William Gallas after his late challenge on Mark Davies.
The Bolton midfielder had to be stretchered off at Emirates Stadium after the Frenchman stamped on his ankle with the Trotters manager branding the tackle as more like an 'assault' immediately after the game.
Scans showed that the 21-year-old had not broken any bones but had suffered ankle ligament damage, although it remains to be seen how long the former Wolves youngster is out for.
However after leaving more time to get over the incident and the frustration of losing a two-goal lead in the 4-2 loss against the Gunners, Coyle believes that there was no intentional malice.
"Maybe (to say) an assault was a bit strong," he said.
"But he certainly caught the lad. I don't think that any professional, and I would certainly hope not, goes to purposely hurt another player, but it was mis-timed - there is no doubt that it was badly mis-timed.
"Mark Davies paid the price for that and we did as a team because with a player lying on the ground, they have scored an equaliser."
Coyle insisted that he wasn't concerned with the fact that Gallas had escaped retrospective action from the Football Association for the challenge, but with how long Davies would be sidelined for.
"Thankfully it's not broken but there is ligament damage there and it will certainly rule him out of this weekend," he added.
"We'll be giving him extensive round-the-clock treatment and he was terrific the other night with his performance levels so he's a player we would like back in our squad as quickly as possible.
"We'll see what the weekend brings, but he's a young lad and a quick healer I'm led to believe."