Coppell keen to keep Lita
Steve Coppell has urged Leroy Lita to be patient and says he is not looking to sell the striker in January.
Last Updated: 29/11/07 4:19pm
Steve Coppell has urged Leroy Lita to be patient and has warned the Reading striker's suitors that he is not looking to sell in January.
Lita has been linked with a £3million move to Middlesbrough and Portsmouth after struggling to establish himself this season.
He has yet to score in six Premier League appearances and has not made the matchday squad for the last two games.
But Reading boss Coppell insists that Lita remains part of his long-term plans at the Madejski Stadium.
He said: "I'm sure other clubs will look at the Leroy situation and think there is an opportunity there, but I have said all along I need four forwards and that should produce healthy competition.
"There is hardly anyone I want to lose in the transfer window."
Lita has been left out in the cold since the start of the month and has seen Dave Kitson and Kevin Doyle become the preferred strike pairing and Shane Long as the No.1 choice for the bench.
Coppell added: "He is not happy because he wants to play, but I would have to leave Kitson or Doyle out and they have done all right.
"Longy has proved to be the most effective one coming off the bench, so it is a sticky situation for Leroy. He has got to be patient.
"By his own admission his form hasn't been brilliant this year. It is not as if he has been banging them in non-stop. He has not been at the top of his game this year."