Anyone Can Beat Anyone


The Royals, who have hardly played spectacular football this season, moved to within a point of the Play-Off places thanks to a 1-0 win over early season table-toppers Wigan.

Yet a week ago, when Coppell's side were failing disappointingly at Crewe, the Latics had just smashed five past hapless Crystal Palace. Indeed, Paul Jewell's side who had looked ready to put a promotion charge together, were very poor today.

Confirmation if any was necessary that there is very little difference between the top teams and the bottom in Division One.

Speaking after the game to Reading World, Steve Coppell said on a different day it could have ended up differently.

"We got the break today with a great delivery and a clinical finish. They had opportunities and Marcus made a terrific save at the end," he commented.

"After the performance Wigan put in last week to beat Palace five nil and the fact that we lost last week, it shows how tight this division is. Each team is capable of beating each other."

With only a point seperating us from the top six perhaps the Premiership dream we were all dreaming in August hasn't died yet. If the team play like they did today they can still go a long way this season.

Coppell was impressed with the performance, but in particular singled out former Walton & Hersham man Bas Savage for praise. The youngster, who failed to make a single first team appearance under pardew's regime, has been mightily impressive since being handed a chance.

"Bas came in and did so well in tight situations. He belies his size and he's adding to his experience," added the Royals boss.

Finally, Steve had words of praise for Andy Hughes who headed home the match winner. Hughesy has received more than a little bit of stick recently yet he still has an admirer in the Reading manager.

He concluded: "Hughes is a good player. He's got desire and hunger and he showed that today. He really had a job to do today because the centre of midfield is a big part of Wigan's game and he did well both nullifying them and playing well himself."

Meanwhile, West Ham United lost 4-3 at home to West Brom today despite taking a 3-0 lead at one point. The Hammers, who are without a win under new manager alan pardew, were shocked by the Baggies who battled back strongly.

Brian Deane, who was signed by pards, scored his first two goals for West Ham before scoring an own goal in the second period to shock Upton Park.

If it wasn't for his bumper pay packet then you would think that pardew would now be regretting leaving Reading now. But then if it hadn't been for the pay he probably wouldn't have gone anyway.

Speaking after the defeat he commented: "Without a shadow of a doubt that was my most disappointing day as a manager. I shall not forget it and it will live in the memory of everyone at this football club for a long time. I won't let them forget it."