Date:Monday March 19 2007
Reading boss Steve Coppell has warned that achieving a European qualification spot this year could have a detrimental affect on his club after watching his side settle for a 0-0 draw with Portsmouth.
Saturday`s goalless draw between Pompey and the Royals had been dubbed a battle of two teams competing for European football. But mediocre performances from both sides meant the Media`s depiction of the fixture turned out to be a bit of a letdown.
Speaking after the match, Steve Coppell bluntly explained why he does not think Reading should be going for a European spot after their first season in the Premiership:
"We are not equipped for Europe and it is really not on our radar at the moment at all," said a very frank Coppell, 'The only way we exist is by trying to win the next game, that is our mentality.
"We do not set targets about where we want to be and what we want to do. All we are about is winning the next game.'
The Reading boss is also very much aware of how UEFA Cup campaigns have proven to be damaging to other clubs in the past; Ipswich and West Ham this season have been victims of this:
'Certainly at the moment, it would not be good for us - as [former Ipswich manager] George Burley told me last week.
'Europe is too heavy a load for us at this stage in our development. Whether we do develop, only time will tell."
But is this something Coppell truly believes? The Reading boss has always been keen on playing down his club to take any added pressure off of his team or maybe he is using reverse psychology to motivate his players into proving him wrong - certainly after Saturday`s lacklustre performance something has to motivate this team…
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