Coppell rules out Republic
Reading boss moves to clarify comments
By Rob Parrish. Last Updated: October 25, 2007 6:02pm
Coppell: Reading focus
Steve Coppell has moved to quell speculation that he is interested in becoming Republic of Ireland manager.
The Reading boss found his name thrust into the frame in the wake of a television interview he gave, and admits he is partly to blame for the recent raft of rumours.
The Football Association of Ireland is in the hunt for a new manager in the wake of Steve Staunton's departure following their failure to qualify for the Euro 2008 finals.
But Coppell has no plans to leave his post at The Madejski Stadium where he is facing the testing task of establishing The Royals in the top-flight.
He said: "The stories are just people being mischievous but I did do an interview with Pat Dolan, who does the TV over there, and he asked about it.
"I just said the older I get the more international football appeals to me. Eight games a year - I could quite happily do that.
"I also happened to mention my grandmother was Irish so to all intents and purposes I qualify."
Midfielder Stephen Hunt, who was given his Republic debut by Staunton last season, believes Coppell could take up the post at some point in the future.
He said: "He has enough on his hands here at the moment but maybe sometime down the line our manager might fancy it."
Hunt admitted Staunton's position had become untenable as soon as qualification for the Euro 2008 finals became impossible.
He said: "We had fallen below expectations in terms of what Ireland could achieve.
"Over the years Ireland raised the bar so the generation that is playing now are expected to qualify for European Championships and World Cups, which is a good thing because if you are happy with third or fourth place then you might as well not be playing at all.
"Whoever gets the job will have a tough task on his hands. We have to get playing again, get playing well and get the country behind us again because it was the press in Ireland that hounded the manager out and in the end the public supported the press and wanted him out.
"But that was never the case with the players. It was just a matter of putting on the shirt, being proud and trying to do our best. Unfortunately it didn't work out that way in the last few games but we have to look forward now and wait for the new appointment."