Coppell coy on Lita future
Rodgers denies receiving bid for O'Toole
Last Updated: January 9, 2009 10:52pm
Lita celebrates his goal against Watford
Reading boss Steve Coppell refused to be drawn on Leroy Lita's future after the striker stepped off the bench to find the net in the 4-0 victory over Watford.
Lita has just returned to the Royals from a productive loan spell with Norwich, who are keen to take him back to Carrow Road.
The striker, whose contract expires in the summer, was given a warm welcome from the home supporters on a frosty evening at the Madejski Stadium.
Coppell said: "It's no headache for me to have four strikers, I can assure you of that.
"It's a nice position to be in, my strikers are uncomfortable which is what I want. Noel Hunt and Kevin Doyle both scored but so did Leroy so they can't relax.
"Leroy always gets a great reception here. I have no plan as such with him.
"He just wants to play football but I have two strikers who are in form and scoring goals so in the short term he is not going to start for us.
"But he has put Kevin and Noel under pressure now and if they don't produce the goods then I will put him in."
Coppell admitted his side were not at the best during a first half littered with errors until left-back Chris Armstrong put them ahead.
Two goals in a minute from Hunt and Doyle then killed the game off midway through the second period and leave Coppell thankful for his strike force.
He said: "The result was better than the performance. We had a few players who have had a bit of time off and we needed that game.
"Getting the first goal was critical because we were getting a bit jittery and that was affecting our play.
"We are capable of killing teams off within a few minutes. Sometimes you wish you can click your fingers and it would happen but you have to probe for openings and we have good finishers here."
Opposite number Brendan Rodgers admitted his side were made to pay a heavy price for defensive lapses.
He told Sky Sports: "I'm disappointed for the players, because I didn't think it was a 4-0 game.
"I thought there were a lot of moments in the game when we played really well, but we didn't defend well at the key moments and I think that was the difference.
"There were a couple of crosses which they got in when I was disappointed with the defending.
"It is frustrating, we need to learn from that. The possession was great, but it's no good on its own, there has to be the penetration. Then, when you're defending, you have to defend better than we did tonight.
"We conceded a poor goal before half-time which set us back a bit and then we had a minute during the second half which killed the game.
"Reading are probably the best side in the division and, for sure, will go up. Congratulations to Reading, they are a top side."
Rodgers also dismissed speculation linking midfielder John-Joe O'Toole - an unused substitute - with a move to leaders Wolves.
He said: "I've had no bids for any players. There is going to be speculation about John-Joe as he is a top young player but I have nothing to report on that."