Football

Player respect key to Coyle's success

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Burnley striker Steven Thompson has hailed Owen Coyle's special relationship with his players as the secret to the club's success.

The Clarets face Sheffield United in the Coca-Cola Championship play-off final on Monday as they aim to return to the top flight for the first time in 33 years.

Coyle has earned admiration throughout the country after his side bundled Fulham, Chelsea and Arsenal out of the Carling Cup and came agonisingly close to overcoming Tottenham in an epic semi-final encounter.

Yet the former Bolton striker's most ardent supporters can be found within Turf Moor.

"It's very rare that you get a manager that every single player at the club likes," said Thompson, a free transfer signing from Cardiff last September.

"But I think that's the case here.

"He's friends with all of us and we all get on very well with him.

"I think that's been the key to our success this season.

"The manager is an infectious person to be around, very bubbly, and he also knows a thing or two about football."

Coyle exudes positivity and that has clearly rubbed off on his players throughout their marathon campaign.

The winner-takes-all clash at Wembley will be Burnley's 61st game of the season.

There is trust and there is undeniable progress at all levels at Turf Moor.

Thompson explained: "The gaffer is great and I think his man management has been the key.

"He keeps everybody on their toes, he keeps everybody involved and he keeps everybody happy.

"When you've got a happy bunch of players who are talented then you're halfway there."

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Topics:
Tottenham Hotspur
Arsenal
Fulham
Steven Thompson
Football
Championship
Bolton Wanderers
League Cup
Chelsea
Cardiff City
Sheffield United

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