Saturday 24 March 2018

Coyle denies poppy link to McCLEAN'S ABSENCE

WIGAN manager Owen Coyle has denied that James McClean was left out of his team's Championship meeting with Yeovil yesterday because of his stance on wearing a poppy.

The Derry man caused controversy as a Sunderland player 12 months ago when he refused to wear the flower on his shirt to commemorate Remembrance Day, and he was adamant afterwards that he would never do so because of his upbringing in the Creggan area of the city.

"They have their beliefs and I have mine. I don't regret it and come next year I'm going to do the same thing," he said.

Therefore, when the 24-year-old was not involved in his new club's Championship outing, there was speculation that his reluctance to wear the poppy was the reason for his absence.

However, Coyle, a former Irish international, hit out at the rumours after his side's 1-0 success, insisting: "James McClean wasn't rested, he has a dead leg. I'm embarrassed to have been asked that question in this day and age."

Irish Independent

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