Coppell pays Doyle tribute
Reading manager Steve Coppell is confident Kevin Doyle personifies his squad's determination to avoid relegation.
Last Updated: 01/05/08 9:18pm
Reading manager Steve Coppell is confident Kevin Doyle personifies his squad's determination to avoid relegation, not suspended duo Ibrahima Sonko and Emerse Fae.
Striker Doyle is expected to feature in Saturday's home game with Tottenham despite having had to return to the Republic of Ireland for the funeral of his cousin Lorraine Flood, which will be held on Friday.
Mrs Flood and her two children died in an apparent murder-suicide last week that also claimed the life of her husband Diarmuid.
Doyle learned about the tragedy shortly before last Saturday's game at Wigan but decided to play and helped his side to the 0-0 draw that kept the Royals out of the bottom three.
That contrasts with confirmation that Sonko and Fae will play no further part in a relegation battle that will be decided on the last day after they refused to play for the reserves on Monday night. Both could soon be leaving Reading.
Senegal international Sonko, one of the promotion heroes of the 2005-06 campaign, and Ivory Coast midfielder Fae - at £2.5million the club's record signing - have been suspended for 14 days and fined two weeks' wages.
Both have been disappointing this term and neither was expected to feature against Spurs but Coppell confirmed he was still keen to pick Doyle, as long as the 24-year-old felt he was able to play.
Praise"He will play a role. That's not 100 per cent guaranteed but he is a grown man and a professional so if he thinks his mentality will affect the team in a poor way I'm sure he will tell me," said Coppell.
"But in my mind at the moment he will be part of the squad on Saturday.
"People react differently to these situations. From my point of view Doyler has been very strong.
"I'm not sure how close he was to his cousin but it was bound to have a ripple effect through the family.
"Given the Wexford community and how close I would imagine they are it may well be that when he gets home he will feel it more than when he has been in isolation here.
"But that is for him to judge and for me to make a decision."