Date:Monday January 22 2007
Steve Coppell has come out defending his coach Wally Downes, after incidents involving him and Sheffield United manager, Neil Warnock.
"Other people can judge but I have no problem with what Wally did." Said Coppell
Reading defeated the Blades 3-1, but the victory was overshadowed by instances that did not involve football.
'I have to say it's wrong - the emphasis should be on the game,'
The commotion began after Keith Gillespie came on as substitute, obviously Warnock thought he might add something to the game, but all the Northern Irish winger added was conflict after he immediately barged Stephen Hunt in the face with a thrashing arm.
'This [Gillespie's sending-off] was one particular incident in the game and it seemed to be fairly clear-cut to me and if it's only four yards away from the linesman it can only be one result.
'After the initial kafuffle I thought it had all died down."
But it was far from over, Wally Downes marched up to Neil Warnock and pushed the Blades boss for making suggestive gestures that his players should break some legs.
A further tussle ensued which saw Downes and Warnock sent to the stands.
Coppell commented: 'It looks to be inflammatory at the moment. In the meantime there was a reaction, I'm not condoning that but I think it's best if we let the authorities deal with it.
'I will make my mind up but I am certainly not going to react now. On the face of it from what I can see now I am not going to do anything, absolutely not.
Warnock said this on the situation: 'Wally was trying to say I was telling people to break legs, which is absolute garbage.
'I made the kicking gesture to tell the referee that Steve Sidwell's tackle on Chris Armstrong had been the worst of the game.'
The Blades boss also made this confusing comment regarding Stephen Hunt:
'Hunt has proved on a few occasions that he's a clever type, and his challenge on Nick Montgomery earlier in the game wasn't clever either.'
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