Coyle ready to face the best

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Football News

Newly-promoted Burnley will carry the fight to Manchester United next season despite knowing the town's entire population could fit into Old Trafford with a few seats to spare.

Wade Elliott's excellent 13th-minute effort against Sheffield United was enough to take the Clarets back into the top flight after a 33-year absence. It further enhanced the reputation of manager Owen Coyle on the day Gordon Strachan left the Celtic hotseat vacant and ensured a £60million windfall will be winging its way to Turf Moor.

"The Premier League is full of the best players in the world, and some of the top managers in Alex Ferguson and Arsene Wenger and so forth," he said. "We had 36,000 supporters at Wembley, which is about half our population. That means when Manchester United play at home there are more people at Old Trafford than there are in the whole town of Burnley."

For all the penalty claims the Blades had, the Clarets were the better side throughout and would have added to Elliott's curling effort if Robbie Blake had been able to take one of two second-half chances that came his way.

The Blades last chance disappeared with the dismissal of Jamie Ward and they ended an unhappy afternoon with only nine men as Lee Hendrie was red carded by referee Mike Dean after the final whistle.

Given the campaign began with a 4-1 defeat at Sheffield Wednesday, followed by a home hammering by Ipswich, it could not have had a better ending for a club that came within two minutes of reaching their Carling Cup final after agonisingly missing out on adding Tottenham to a list of scalps that included Fulham, Chelsea and Arsenal.

And it appears the chance to manage among England's elite should keep Coyle at Burnley even if Celtic do come calling.

"I didn't know there was a vacancy at Celtic," he said.

"It's flattering that people mention your name, but I'm with Burnley.

"I'll concentrate my job on what I am doing here, and long may that continue."

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.

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Tottenham Hotspur
Jamie Ward
Ipswich Town
Sheffield Wednesday
Wade Elliott
League Cup
Premier League
Gordon Strachan
Lee Hendrie
Manchester United
Sheffield United
Robbie Blake

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