Wigan part company with Owen Coyle after 23 games in charge

Owen Coyle: Has paid the price for three successive home defeats

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Wigan Athletic have parted company with Owen Coyle after less than six months in charge of the Championship club.

Coyle's 23-game spell in charge of the Latics came to an end following Sunday's 3-1 defeat to Derby County, their third home loss in nine days.

The Scot met with chairman Dave Whelan after the Derby defeat and the pair agreed to part company.

Coyle said: "It is with great sadness that we have made this decision and I would like to thank all my football staff and the staff at the club, who have been very supportive of me in my time here.

"I am confident that with this set of players, the team can keep moving in the right direction."

First-team coach Graham Barrow and assistant manager Sandy Stewart will take charge of the team for Wednesday's trip to Leeds United.

"It is with great sadness that we have made this decision and I would like to thank all my football staff and the staff at the club, who have been very supportive of me in my time here. I am confident that with this set of players, the team can keep moving in the right direction."

Owen Coyle

Wigan were unbeaten in their first 10 home games under Coyle but they have suffered successive defeats to Brighton, Zulte Waregem and Derby.

Former Crystal Palace manager Ian Holloway is the early favourite to replace Coyle at the DW Stadium.

Everton boss Roberto Martinez, who guided Wigan to FA Cup glory over Manchester City in May, admitted he still retained an interest in his former club.

"In football you get that sort of situation where if the results don't go right they are going to take a big decision," said Martinez.

"All I want is the best for Wigan. I always keep a close eye on them and I hope everything can have the effect that is needed.

"Owen worked really hard to try to achieve promotion and now the change has been confirmed hopefully everything works for the best for the football club."

Boos cascaded down from the stands on Sunday when Derby scored all three of their goals inside the opening 29 minutes and the away fans' cheeky claims Coyle would soon be axed were greeted with applause by certain sections of the Wigan faithful.

That speculative chant has now turned to reality and, despite insisting Coyle was "far and away the best for the job" back in June, chairman Dave Whelan has a managerial vacancy to fill once again as Latics bid to instantly return to the top flight.

Coyle, chosen ahead of Steve McClaren - the man who led Derby to victory at the DW Stadium - was originally tasked with doing just that as he rebuilt following the Roberto Martinez-led exodus which followed their relegation and May's FA Cup final win.

The club's first European campaign, the arrivals of youngsters such as Nick Powell and James McClean, and a 4-0 opening-day thrashing of Barnsley brought plenty of optimism too.

"All I want is the best for Wigan. I always keep a close eye on them and I hope everything can have the effect that is needed."

Roberto Martinez

However, the tide soon turned with an 890-minute spell without scoring on the road epitomising the struggles of an attack often found playing in a different style to the one which earned Martinez's sides such wide-spread admiration.

Speaking after what turned out to be his final match in charge, Coyle called for a reality-check from those disgruntled by their start to the season.

"If it comes through expectation then so be it," Coyle said of the discontent.

"The expectation can only come from being in the Premier League because it's not as if Wigan Athletic have been winning games every week for four or five years, far from it. Wigan Athletic have been in the bottom three for the last four, five years and managed a few times to escape and they've done brilliantly to do that.

"They won the (FA) Cup which was brilliant but they lost their place in the Premier League and with them losing their place, the players, the ones of big value, left.

"It's building that team and putting it together. If people want to be ultra-critical that's the nature of football these days.

"I'm old enough to deal with that; if they think there's something better that's all well and good. That's why we love football, it's all opinion."