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Bolton boss defends Muamba from accusations of reckless tackle

Bolton boss Owen Coyle has denied suggestions that Fabrice Muamba was "reckless" in his tackle on Wigan's James McCarthy at the DW Stadium. McCarthy will be out for up to 10 weeks with an ankle injury after a challenge by Muamba in the 1-1 draw on Saturday.

Wigan boss Roberto Martinez has claimed the tackle, while not malicious, was "unnecessary" and "reckless".

But Coyle told Radio 5 live: "Fabrice is a very talented player - he went to try and win the ball, that's all."

In stating that he would never condone bad tackles, Coyle added: "The last thing we want is players getting injured.

"Fabrice felt he had an opportunity to win the ball.

"We have to eradicate bad tackles, but I think it was a young boy who went to win the ball and he never had any intent to try to hurt James McCarthy."

Martinez later, said: "One of the most creative young players in the league is going to be out for up to 10 weeks. That is a football crime."

Coyle, though, said he was surprised by his counterpart's comments.

"Maybe with hindsight he's come out and he's protecting his club," Coyle said.

"[But that's] the reason we love football, we love opinions and Roberto has got his and I certainly have mine."

 Need your Bolton Wanderers news fix? Click here for all Trotters news and transfer rumours.

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