Coppell refuses to jump on the promotion bandwagon
Feature by Rob Cooper
Updated Saturday, 23rd October 2004
Reading's stormed to a 4-0 win over Crewe this afternoon, but Royals boss Steve Coppell is refusing to get carried away with his side's promotion chances.With the seemingly unbeatable Royals sitting in an impressive second place in the Football League Championship, optimism seems to be overpowering the people of Reading.
The Royals hit four past helpless Crewe this afternoon to open up a three point buffer zone between second and third place.
And as each Reading goal cracked into the back of the net fans chanted "we are going up" in an increasingly deafening crescendo.
Although the supporters believe Premiership Football is on the way boss Steve Coppell insists that the Royals towering league position means very little with thirty-one matches still to play.
"I am aware of the table, but I don't really look at it or make a point of studying it. We are only a third of the way through the season. It's a marathon and it is easy to go into freefall," said the manager, speaking after today's game.
But Reading fans increasingly seem to be muting out the pessimistic cries of the former Palace boss. With good reason to, the turn around from last season borders on the unbelievable.
Just months ago plucky Crewe fought hard to win a point at the Madejski Stadium, but this time around the humble opponents were happy to roll over.
It is Reading's incredible home record that appears to be beginning to intimidate the division's lesser lights.Crewe Alexandra's performance this afternoon suggests that they are ver much one of the league's more dimly lit bulbs.
With every game that passes the Royals seem to be playing with greater and greater confidence whilst their opponents seem to be running scared.
Not even Coppell could deny that Reading had a good afternoon today. Dynamo Steve Sidwell, and James Harper, his fanciful midfield team mate, ran the game from the centre of the park with a commanding display.
Up-front tricky striker Dave Kitson, leading scorer with eight goals, again led from the front in the absence of Nicky Forster. The ex-Cambridge United man toyed and teased Crewe's youthful defence all afternoon.
"It was a really strong display. We were on it," admitted Coppell.
"James Harper and Steve Sidwell were superb in closing them down and were constantly snapping at people. I think that tempo was infectious to the other players."