"Our performance was more like the way we played last year - there was a lot of energy about it," said Coppell.
"From my point of view it was like seeing an old friend. I enjoyed it."
Dave Kitson curled in a great goal to put Reading ahead, but Michael Duberry's own goal looked to have given Newcastle a point.
However, Shane Long scored with just his second touch and barely a minute after Coppell brought him on as a substitute to give the home side the victory.
"His family was over from Ireland," Coppell said of Long.
"I was umming and ahhing about whether to make a change but the timing was fortunately exquisite.
"He wasn't on at me to bring him on - he never does - but he is certainly one of the quickest to get on. Some of the more seasoned pro's seem to take an age.
"Consistently this year substitutes have made an impact in our games. It's a trend of this season.
"Shane came on and introduced some real gusto to our play. He has bags of energy and is a young man with a point to prove, which is a nice combination.
"And because he has not been through an apprenticeship he does things differently in an unexpected way. Sometimes that can be frustrating for us just as much as it is dangerous for the opposition."
Sam Allardyce recognised that his side didn't really deserve to be level after Michael Duberry's o.g. but he was disappointed that his team gave away the chance of a point.
"It is disappointing when you throw it away like that," said Allardyce.
"Whether we deserved to be level - and you would probably have to say we didn't - nevertheless we had got it.
"Reading were nervous and it gave us our best spell of the game but if you are going to give stupid goals away like that then you are not going to deserve anything.
"It was just such a basic error to concede a goal like that at that stage of the game.
"We didn't deal with the first ball but more importantly didn't deal with the second either and the young lad comes on, runs behind and scores the winner for them."