Football

Coyle plays down 'assault' remarks

Coyle calm over Gallas. (©PAphotos)
Coyle calm over Gallas. (©PAphotos).

Bolton boss Owen Coyle admits likening William Gallas' tackle on Mark Davies was to an "assault" was "a bit strong" and accepts the Arsenal defender showed no malice in the challenge.

Davies was taken off on a stretcher after Gallas' late tackle during Bolton's 4-2 defeat at the Emirates Stadium on Wednesday night, which left the midfielder with ankle ligament damage.

Coyle likened the tackle to an assault in a post-match interview but on Friday indicated he did not think Gallas intended to hurt Davies, saying: "Maybe (to say) an assault was a bit strong. 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."

He added: "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."

Asked for his reaction to Gallas escaping censure from the FA, Coyle said: "That's up to the FA, but it won't result in us getting any points from the game.

"They are the powers that be and they decide what happens and what doesn't happen."

It is not yet known how long Davies is likely to be out of action, although the 21-year-old will definitely miss Bolton's FA Cup fourth-round tie against Sheffield United at the Reebok Stadium on Saturday.

"Thankfully it's not broken but there is ligament damage there and it will certainly rule him out of this weekend," Coyle said.

"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."

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Topics:
Arsenal
Mark Davies
Football
Bolton Wanderers
Premier League
William Gallas

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