Date:Tuesday August 8 2006
Royals midfielder Steve Sidwell has hit out at the lowly opposition Reading have been facing on their pre season tour of Sweden following the 10-1 rout against Lanna GoiF.
Speaking to The Sun newspaper unsettled Sidwell was quoted as saying 'It was a joke we did't get anything out of it. To warm up for the Premiership like this is sad.'
Although many fans will feel Sidwell may have spoken out of turn in airing these views so publicly at such a crucial time, and in criticising an annual tour of many years for the Royals he further explained his criticisms by adding "It`s just disappointing from the players` point of view to have a two hour journey from the hotel to play on a sub-standard pitch against a weak team."
As part of their three game tour of Sweden Reading have faced the relative minnows of Gallstads FK, Lanna GoiF and finally Orgryte IS tonight, although Lanna were by far the smallest outfit the Royals faced.
Steve Coppell responded to Sidwell's criticism's in the Reading Evening Post by explaining his methodology behind the tour, saying 'We always play this standard of opposition in our pre-season games. It`s easy to be critical. But it gives us an opportunity to score lots of goals.'
'Many years ago the great Hungarian side used to play matches like these and win 30-odd nil just because they wanted the scorers to score. At this stage it`s ideal as far as I`m concerned.'
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