Coppell empathy for Royal effort
Reading boss Steve Coppell was disappointed his side's 'gung ho' tactics failed against Manchester United.
By Laura Slatcher
Last Updated: 19/01/08 7:01pm
Reading manager Steve Coppell was disappointed his side failed to get a result after their defeat to Manchester United on Saturday.
Goals from Wayne Rooney and Cristiano Ronaldo handed United victory but Reading looked confident of getting something from the game after a strong performance.
The Royals boss admitted that his tactic was to drive forward at every opportunity in the game but was disheartened with the final result.
"I do feel for the players because at various stages of the game we were well capable of getting a result here and not just a draw either.
"Our game-plan was to have a go at them as much as possible. We knew we'd have to defend well and knew we'd have to play well.
"In the first half I think we were marginally better but in the second half their passing quality just showed a little more.
"Kits (Dave Kitson) had a great chance. We had things flashing across the goal.
"Rooney and Ronaldo really are an electric combination. You really have to be playing well.
"They got their noses in front and we went gung ho. It was a matter of salvaging the game rather than keeping the score down."
Coppell named three strikers in his starting line-up and revealed it was his backroom staff that convinced him to push forward against the Champions.
"I was thinking about various combinations from a playing point of view," he added.
"In the end I was persuaded by the rest of my staff to just have a go, you know, gung ho. Three forwards and Hunty in midfield driving forward.
"Today everything spurred us on. We had a go, we didn't get the right result, but we feel better inside for it."
Reading have now suffered four successive league defeats but Coppell is determined to take the positives from their performance.
He added: "You have to say that if we can reproduce that kind of attacking style, defensive ability and commitment. That's the way we want to play.
"You have to appreciate the distance between the elite teams and the rest of us in this division.
"It's not really a level playing field, but this is where we want to be."