Date:Friday February 16 2007
Steve Coppell has confirmed he will wring the changes from the team that beat Aston Villa last weekend. The Reading manager has suggested he will make up to eight changes.
'I will make seven or eight changes from my last team, definitely." Coppell said
And the Reading man was ready to defend his decision in light of criticism that such tactics place demeanour on England`s prided and historic domestic cup:
'I'm not disrespecting the competition because I have been consistent. It would be disrespectful of me among the playing squad if I were to change now. I never made them any promises - I can do what I like - but I just decided that this was what I was going to do and it doesn't diminish our desire to try to win the game."
"I care about the integrity of the competition very much but from June I knew that this was what I was going to do and I'm not going to change that. I make no apologies for saying once again that we play a cup final every week in the Premiership.
'It doesn't matter to me who the opposition are; it is not any disrespect to the competition or the opposition. I am being selfish - I am just looking at it from my point of view.
"If anything I will learn more against this sort of opposition. I want to know whether the (fringe) players can cope with the level and perform at the level."
And Coppell argued that 'Reading fans understand 100 per cent my thought process (on the matter)." And quite frankly, Steve, I know I do.
It`s nice to see the rest of the squad get a run out and it keeps the teams morale high, players like Adam Federici would never have a chance if it wasn`t for Coppell`s cup policy and can you imagine if Marcus Hahnemann got injured and we had to throw this youngster in at the deep-end his past experience being sitting on the bench and reserve games?
What`s more, Coppell is not going to change a winning team but why change a losing one if he doesn`t know whether his squad players will rise to the occasion or not.
I would also argue that the team that plays in the FA Cup has a lot of chance of progression; they know that realistically with our league form they may not see another Premiership start this season and their best chance at playing given Coppell`s policy is a cup run.
So was anyone really surprised when Coppell announced he would make seven or eight changes? Well actually, I was. Just seven or eight?! I was expecting more, I wonder who will make it through from the Villa game????
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