The Republic of Ireland international confirmed his move to the Latics from Sunderland yesterday in a reported £2m deal.
"He took a drop in salary to come, such was his desire to play football," BBC Sport quotes Coyle as saying. "That was fantastic to see in a young man. All too often in football, finance is the motivation for some players.
"To see a player prepared to come and take a step back because he believes it will eventually lead to two forward, it is great to have at your football club."
The 24-year-old failed to impress Black Cats manager Paolo Di Canio since the Italian's arrival during the closing stages of last season.