Coppell: Lita raring to go
By Lewis Rutledge
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Steve Coppell feels Leroy Lita could be Reading's secret weapon against Man Utd.
Steve Coppell believes Leroy Lita could be Reading's secret weapon against Manchester United on Saturday.
Lita has found it hard to break into the Reading side this term but he seized a rare opportunity to start against Chelsea on Boxing Day by netting his side's opener in the 2-2 draw.
Coppell is ready to entrust him with a key role against United and is confident he will go on to enjoy a successful season.
"Leroy has been disgruntled that he hasn't been used more but he has been patient. He is a young man who is still growing and developing," said Coppell.
"It was his birthday yesterday and I'm sure he was well pleased to get the early present of a goal against Chelsea. He will start against Manchester United for sure.
"He is the predator, the box player. That is where he needs the ball to be delivered as often as possible as his instincts will get him into good positions.
"Earlier on in the year he suffered because we weren't getting the ball in the box much. We certainly weren't playing to his strengths and that was why I went down a different route.
"He has a real desire to score goals, which is never a bad thing. He is not cynical about it, he is just enthusiastic."
Coppell also urged his side to take a fearless approach into the game at Old Trafford.
"We have said all along that the games against the top teams aren't going to define our future. Anything we get out of them is just a magnificent bonus," he explained.
"There isn't a club in the country that would have envied us coming into these two fixtures, Chelsea away and then Manchester United away, but I didn't look at it in any other way than a great position for us to be in.
"We cannot lose. Even if we lose we cannot lose. And now that we have picked up a point against Chelsea it is even more of a reason to celebrate the fact that we are going to such a magnificent stadium and we must try to enjoy it."