Coppell staying level headed

By Angus Muller
Last updated : 16 November 2006

Reading boss Steve Coppell is guarding against complacency following victory over Tottenham as he looks to better last season's achievements by staying in the Premiership.

The Royals looked anything but relegation fodder in the 3-1 win over Spurs, but Coppell insists remaining in the top flight would be a greater achievement than clinching last season's Championship title with 106 points.

Robbie Keane gave Spurs the lead at the Madejski Stadium but his penalty was cancelled out by Nicky Shorey before Steve Sidwell and Kevin Doyle sealed the three points.

"It's all about where we finish at the end, that's the be-all and end-all of our season," said Coppell. "I don't want the highlight of our year to be September, October, November.

"The bottom line remains that if we retain our status in this division, it will be a far better achievement than gaining promotion last season."

With Reading looking handily placed in mid-table, and with matches against Charlton, Fulham and Bolton next up, Coppell does not want to dwell on the Spurs victory.

"That's forgotten now," he said. "I'll watch the video in the cold light of day but we forget it and try to look forward to the next game."

Keane tucked away the opener in the 24th minute after Ibrahima Sonko had tripped Hossam Ghaly, but Shorey levelled eight minutes before the break with a powerful long-range drive.

Sidwell, who was influential in midfield throughout, bundled home just before the break to establish a lead before Doyle slotted home with 11 minutes left to reward his toil up front.

"It was a huge relief when the third one went in and a just reward for Doyle's performance, which was terrific," Coppell added.

Spurs were unbeaten in their previous 10 matches before travelling to the Madejski Stadium, and boss Martin Jol was disappointed with his side's response after going into the break behind.

"At half-time we wanted to put it right but you need personality and character," Jol said.

"It's frustrating, you get angry a bit as well because you can do all the hard work and prepare yourself well.

"If we would have had a good result everything would be fine - last eight of the Carling Cup, in the UEFA Cup and probably seventh in the league. And you throw it away."

Jol also distanced himself from a move for Real Madrid's former England captain David Beckham, adding: "I said two weeks ago that we have (Aaron) Lennon, Ghaly, (Wayne) Routledge on loan so we are fine."

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