Coppell praises hitman Kitson

By Rob Cooper
Last updated : 13 November 2004
Royals manager Steve Coppell saluted Dave Kitson, the league's leading marksman, after he fired home his twelfth of the season and his fifth in five games this afternoon.

Kitson's beautiful intricate footwork took the ball beyond keeper and defender, giving the 24-year-old a simple tap in.

The goal, which put the Royals 2-0 up, eventually proved to be the matchwinner. Although they attempted to fight back back late on, Cardiff lost 2-1.

Speaking after the game, Coppell admitted that his flame-haired forward, who tops the Championship's leading scorers chart, has barely trained this week.

But although Kitson has been struggling with injury, he continues to produce the goods.

"He's hardly trained this week to be fair," admitted Coppell, speaking after the game.

"We don't want to flog him on a Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, because we want him there on a Saturday.

"You saw today why we want him there as he made another good, quality finish in a tight situation and he did really well."

The Bluebirds, who lie twentieth in the table, could have scored a dramatic late equaliser. The visitors looked defeated at 2-0 down but battled back with ten men in the last few minutes.

Coppell, however, was pleased to see his team pick up another three points.

"It got a little bit unconventional at the end as they threw everything at us. They made life difficult for us at the death," he said.

"We conceded from a set piece which was given away by a silly foul, and we ended up paying for it. It could have been points wasted in the end."

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