Coppell targets winning run
Steve Coppell is hoping Reading's 2-0 win over Manchester City acts as a springboard to securing their Premier League status.
By Ben Collins
Last Updated: 08/03/08 8:02pm
Reading manager Steve Coppell is hoping the Royals' 2-0 win over Manchester City acts as a springboard to securing their Premier League status.
Shane Long gave Coppell's men a deserved lead in the 62nd minute before substitute Dave Kitson sealed the three points with a superbly-taken strike two minutes from time.
The victory was Reading's second straight win after going on an eight-match losing streak and boosted their survival hopes by propelling them out of the relegation zone up to 13th place.
"Since we've been in the Premiership we've had runs of good and bad results," said Coppell.
Turn the tables
"I've never known an eight-match run of defeats and I hope now we can turn the tables and have a positive run of results."
City enjoyed the bulk of possession and saw defender Vedran Corluka miss a gilt-edged opportunity midway through the first half but moments later the visitors lost skipper Richard Dunne after he suffered a gashed shin.
Coppell admitted Dunne's injury had a big effect on the game but was pleased with Reading's finishing and hailed the impact of nine-goal striker Kitson.
"The first one was from real persistence by Kevin Doyle," he said. "He was in a wide position, and he turned and got the cross in early.
"Shane came in and adjusted his feet to turn it into the net. It had to be a one-touch finish and it was a delight to see that one go in.
"Kitson's goal showed everything about him. I think he's one of the best strikers in the division yet he's been on the bench for the last two games.
"To have him available there and to make the impact he did is a good feeling. Today was really important because it could have got very edgy towards the end without that goal.
"They (Manchester City) have the ability to strangle a game to death by keeping the ball and that was always a part of our thinking today," Coppell added.
"We had to try to keep a high tempo to disturb their rhythm and sometimes we were anxious when we had possession, but we were getting stronger as the game went on.
"I think Dunne going off was significant because he's a strong captain and he's been a great player in the heart of the defence for many years but we had to take advantage of that and as the second half wore on, I felt more and more we were going to do that."