Coppell: Sodje's not fit yet
By Mark Buckingham
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Reading manager Steve Coppell is hoping Sam Sodje will soon be available for action.
Reading manager Steve Coppell is hoping new signing Sam Sodje will soon be available for action.
Sodje has signed a three-year contract at The Madejski Stadium after The Royals agreed to pay £350,000, which could rise to £500,000, to Brentford.
But the centre half's debut is on hold while he recovers from a cartilage operation he underwent at the end of last season.
Coppell outlined the qualities Sodje will bring to his squad, but admits the immediate priority is ensuring the 27-year-old returns to fitness.
"He'll bulk us up," Coppell told Sky Sports News. "He's young and hungry and is desperate to make an impression.
"He has a prodigious leap, everybody knows that within football. He's quick and has got an opportunity.
"It's up to him to grasp the opportunity when his chance comes. He'll take time to settle down.
"He's injured at the moment. He had a cartilage operation at the end of last season and has yet to recover as well as we would like.
"He has done little or no rehab over the summer, so the first thing is to rehab him and make sure he is fit over the next two or three weeks."
Meanwhile, Reading started their pre-season programme with a thumping 9-1 victory over Didcot, in which the returning Leroy Lita scored four times.
With The Royals preparing for their Premiership debut, Coppell was happy with the opening show from his players.
He added: "I was pleased with the tempo of the performance in both halves.
"In these games it can be quite easy to just keep possession in a meaningless way.
"I think the players showed they are looking forward to the challenge of the pre-season campaign and they all want to make an early impression.
"As long as that continues I'll be happy."