Coppell praises spirit
By Alex Dunn. Last Updated: January 1, 1970 1:00am
Reading boss Steve Coppell praised his side's resilience in coming from behind to beat Wigan 3-2 at the Madejski Stadium.
In an entertaining contest Reading made a slow start and fell behind in only the third minute when Emile Heskey punished some slack defending.
Reading battled back to secure a three-point haul that condemned Paul Jewell's strugglers to a ninth consecutive defeat, but Coppell was magnanimous enough to concede his side were fortuitous to still be in the game when they equalised.
"We got off to a real sticky start and to be fair Wigan played some really bright stuff and had further opportunities," Coppell told Sky Sports.
"At one stage I thought that we were lucky to be only one goal down.
"But the drive from within the team and the desire to go forward was beginning to make an impression.
"It was a relief to get the equaliser and at half-time it was a real close call.
"In the second half we had the home team mentality and it was very pleasing to see and the third goal gave us that cushion that we needed."
Coppell took time to offer special praise for Leroy Lita, with the quickfire striker maintaining his fine run of form with Reading's crucial third goal.
"He's got a real hunger to play at the moment. He's in that flow at the moment and he has a presence on the pitch.
"From the start of this season I've said I've got a good blend in my forwards and they can all bring something different to our side."