Coleman: Boa Morte's 'heart was somewhere else'

January 12, 2007

Chris Coleman today claimed he decided to sell Luis Boa Morte to West Ham because the Portuguese winger had lost the hunger to play for Fulham.

Coleman takes his Fulham side to Upton Park tomorrow to face Boa Morte's new club - just one week after allowing the former Arsenal player to join West Ham in a £5.5million deal.

Coleman made no attempt to broker a gentleman's agreement with Hammers boss Alan Curbishley to prevent the 29-year-old Boa Morte from playing in the match, and it is clear that the Welshman does not regard his former player as a major threat.

'I am not being bitter and twisted, but I don't think we will be weakened by his departure,' revealed Coleman.

'If you have someone at a club who doesn't want to be there, it will show in their performances, no matter how good they are.

'Luis struggled with injuries this season, and wasn't himself. His heart was somewhere else, so he struggled. Give me a young player with appetite every day of the week.

'When Luis played off the cuff, he was a real force, but we hardly ever saw that this season.'

Liam Rosenior is expected to mark Boa Morte at Upton Park, and Coleman continued: 'Luis is an exciting player on his day, but it is nothing we haven't come up against before.

'Liam has marked every left winger in the league, and has done well. Luis is no better than the best left-sided players in the country.'

Coleman also cast doubt on West Ham's chances of staying in the Barclays Premiership as Curbishley's side try desperately to claw back the four points which separate them from safety.

The Hammers have been widely tipped to escape from trouble, especially as they have substantial funds to spend during this month's transfer window following the takeover late last year of Icelandic businessman Eggert Magnusson.

But Coleman countered: 'Everyone is waiting for West Ham to get out of it. They're a big club with good players. But it does not always happen. We have seen time and time again big clubs down there.

'You are waiting for them to come out of it, but it might not happen. Regardless of what Alan has to spend in the window, he knows he has a big job on his hands there.

'He will have to call on all his experience to get them out of trouble. There are 16 games to go, and I think they need to win eight of those to give themselves a chance, and that is not easy.'

Dutch forward Collins John will not be in the squad tomorrow after Fulham accepted a £3.25m offer from Watford for the 21-year-old last week.

Hornets boss Adrian Boothroyd met John yesterday, but Boothroyd's chances of landing his man appear slim as his team are bottom of the table and 10 points adrift of safety.

Coleman made it clear, however, that John has no future at Craven Cottage.

'We don't want anyone who doesn't want to be here, so it is time for Collins to go,' he admitted. 'He wants to play first-team football, and Watford is the opportunity for him to do that.

'It is frustrating, because he does not want to be here, and we do not want him to be here to upset the apple cart. We wish him luck, but we will move on.'