Doyle defends Coppell

Substitute striker backs under-fire manager

Doyle: Backing boss

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Kevin Doyle insists Reading manager Steve Coppell was right not to select him in Saturday's 4-2 defeat to Blackburn.

The striker began the game at Ewood Park on the bench, but scored the Royals' two goals when he came on as a 63rd minute substitute for Emerse Fae.

Coppell opted to use a 4-5-1 formation with Dave Kitson operating as a lone frontman as the Royals went in search of their first away league win of the season, but found themselves 3-0 down before Doyle's introduction.

Doyle, though, is adamant Coppell made the correct decision to hand him a place among the substitutes after he had played two Euro 2008 qualifiers in the space of a five days for the Republic of Ireland.


"Anyone who plays two internationals in a week starts on the bench," Doyle told The Sun.

"That is the way it is at Reading and to be honest I would do the same thing if I was the manager.

"We know we are better when we play 4-4-2 and although I scored two goals when I came on, we were 3-0 down and never near a point at that stage of the game.

"I like to score goals and Nicky Shorey picked me out for the goals but our home record is now very important, especially the next game against Newcastle."


Meanwhile, Coppell still refuses to put Reading's disappointing form this campaign down to the infamous 'second-season syndrome'.

A number of teams have struggled in their second year in the Premier League following promotion from the Championship, but Coppell does not believe that is the case with Reading.

"It has never been mentioned by my players and it is only a label," said Coppell.

"It means nothing. It is something invented by the media although statistics show the second season is always tougher - with the exception of Blackburn."