Coppell delighted with victory at the Riverside

Last updated : 03 March 2008 By Angus Muller
The result was a huge boost that keeps Reading 6 points ahead of 2nd bottom Fulham and level with Bolton who are in 17th place.

"It was a great result for us," said Steve Coppell. "Having not won away from home all season we had to approach the game in a certain manner and our game-plan went reasonably well.

"We were mindful of the 120 minutes Middlesbrough had played in midweek and we knew it was going to be factor in the last 10 to 15 minutes and that proved to be the case.

''A clean sheet would have been significant and to get all three points was a massive, massive boost. Psychologically I hope it is is going to have a real long-term effect.''

Reading remain in the bottom three on goal difference but are now within touching distance of a number of teams above them - and only four points behind Middlesbrough.

Coppell added: "There are an awful lot of managers who are uncomfortable down at the bottom and that discomfort continues for ourselves. But we have that determination both individually and as a team.''

Middlesbrough boss Gareth Southgate was disappointed to se his side miss the chance to open up a 10 point gap over the bottom three.

Southgate said: "The way they play is full of energy and we knew we'd be lacking some of that today. But it's disappointing because we should have seen it through and we got caught with a sucker punch.

"We tried to freshen the team up a little bit but it was going to be one of those under-par days. Reading did a good job because they played in the way they knew would make us use as much energy as we had left.''

He added: "It could have been 10 points but it isn't. Anyone from ourselves down is conscious of what is going on around the league and as good a run as we've had we have still got to grind and scrap it out.''

Southgate admitted he had no complaints over the 77th minute incident in which Stewart Downing tumbled in the box but instead of being given a penalty was booked for diving.

Southgate added: "It was hard to see because of the speed at which he was running, so if anything clips him it is going to knock him off balance. I think the referee probably made the right decision.''