WIGAN manager Owen Coyle has denied James McClean was dropped at the weekend for refusing to wear a poppy.
The former Irish international said: “James McClean wasn’t rested, he has a dead leg.
“I’m embarrassed to have been asked that question in this day and age.”
Coyle was speaking after Wigan’s 1-0 away win yesterday at Yeovil, a game in which the former Brandywell favourite did not feature.
Prior to the match, there was no mention of McClean’s injury on Wigan’s official website although it reported a number of other players were doubtful for the clash.
McClean, from Derry’s Creggan Estate, refused to wear the remembrance emblem while at Sunderland last year and vowed he would do the same again.
At the time, McClean auctioned his own poppy-less shirt for a children’s charity and he insisted he would do the same again.
“People have their own opinions,'” he said. “They have their beliefs and I have mine. I don’t regret it, come next year I’m going to do the same thing.”
He was supported at the time by his club and international team-mate John O’Shea, who said the whole team were behind his decision.
Speaking earlier this year, he said: “I got a lot of flak from everybody,” McClean added, “but I’ll say it again, it doesn’t bother me. Every year I’m not going to wear it, so I’ll take whatever comes.”