Indian Super League club Chennaiyin FC have named former Burnley and Bolton Wanderers manager Owen Coyle as their head coach for the remainder of the sixth season season. The Scotsman replaces John Gregory, who parted ways with the franchise. The two-time champions are are currently placed eighth in the ten-team table with five points and just one win.
The 53-year-old is an experienced manager at the top level and also represented teams from the top division of English and Scottish football.
As a player, Coyle enjoyed a stellar career as a striker that lasted more than two decades, where he scored more than 300 goals for the likes of Bolton, Motherwell FC and Dundee United.
His first taste of management came in 2007 with Scottish club, St. Johnstone FC. Then came the England move with Burnley FC. The club would reap rewards of that decision a season later, as the Irishmen guided the Clarets to the Premier League in 2009, beating Sheffield United 1-0 in the playoff final.
Later, Coyle moved to Bolton in 2010, staying just under three years at the club and managing them in 125 matches. A short stint at Wigan Athletic and then Major League Soccer (MLS) outfit, Houston Dynamos followed. In the summer of 2016, Coyle moved back to England with Blackburn Rovers, following which he returned to Scotland to take over at Ross County in September 2017.
Coyle’s first game in charge of the ISL club will be away to Jamshedpur at the JRD Tata Sports Complex on December 9.
Earlier this month, Gregory had all but announced his intention to quit following their lackluster loss to Bengaluru FC.
“It is about time I sit down with the owner and had a talk. She has been supportive throughout but we can’t continue like this,” Gregory told the media after his side’s 0-3 defeat at the hands of Bengaluru FC at Sree Kanteerava before the international break.
“We still have 14 games to play for in the ISL after the break but I don’t see us picking up many points in the current scenario. Something needs to be done. I have carried this club on my shoulders for the last two years. It’s not easy. This is the worst I have felt in the last two years. I have tried my best, but the club comes first,” the former Aston Villa manager had said.
However, Chennaiyin registered a dramatic 2-1 win against Hyderabad FC to end their goal drought in the tournament and get their first win. The draw against Odisha FC, though, proved to be the final straw as the club announced his sacking.