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Bolton manager Coyle admits Birmingham rival Eck helped him land first job

Bolton Wanderers boss Owen Coyle admits Birmingham City rival Alex McLeish helped him land his first job in management.

It was back in November 2007 that McLeish made the move that helped Burnley choose the manager who went on to take them back into the Premier League in 2009 after a 33-year absence.

Coyle said: "Burnley were interested in me and Alex rang director Brendan Flood to tell him his opinion of me.

"As a former player of his and as a young manager, he knew what I had achieved at Falkirk and St Johnstone.

"I had always spoken to him and he'd ­always been encouraging. His call to Burnley was even made on the morning of Scotland playing Italy.

"For him to take time out to ring Brendan a few hours ­before such a big game tells you everything about him.

"No doubt Brendan would have taken that on board - feeling 'here's someone who has taken the time to do this, so he must really believe in him'.

"When I got the job, Alex sent me a text ­saying words to the effect that you've got me to thank a wee bit for getting that!

"At the end of his ­message, in capital ­letters, it said 'YOU HAD BETTER BE GOOD'. So no pressure, then!"

 Click here for the No1 coverage of all the gossip and transfer news around Bolton Wanderers.

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