Coppell Bemoans Bad Luck
Feature by Rob Cooper
Updated Tuesday, 13th April 2004
Reading boss Steve Coppell was disappointed to see his side beaten by a controversial late Norwich goal.
Reading lost 2-1 at lowly Bradford at the weekend before being beaten 1-0 by league leaders Norwich last night.
Whilst referee Neale Barry's late intervention was the difference between the sides last night, losing two games in a row so late in the season is likely to be the difference between success and failure.
The Royals must now defeat Crewe, Millwall, West Brom and Watford in their remaining four games if they are to claim a second successive top six finish. Coppell reckons nine points out of twelve may yet be enough to achieve a top six place, but even three wins out of four appears to be mission improbable.
The Reading manager insists his side's campaign is not over despite two disappointing results of late.
"The season will go as far as we push it. We plan to win all four remaining games, although nine points might be enough," he admitted.
A point from last night's game against Norwich would have aided the Royals in their quest for a top six finish, and given the circumstances in which his side lost out Coppell was disappointed with the result.
Referee Neale Barry got in the way of Dean Gordon's headed clearance, allowing the ball to fall for Phil Mulryne who scored the only goal of the game, making no mistake with his first time shot.
Yet Coppell tried to hide his disappointment and said the referee's intervention was merely 'one of those things'.
"You've got to say it was bad luck," remarked the Reading boss.
"Maybe the defender didn't head the ball where he wanted to, but you would expect a top referee to anticipate it and see that it was coming his way.
"All you can do in these situations is be philosophical. If you let these things get to you, you would never sleep. You have to accept that over the course of 50-odd games in a season it's all going to even out."