We thought we might be in the hat for the fourth round

Last updated : 07 January 2007 By Tony Scholes
The game was called off at 2:50 p.m., and both managers were in full support of the decision when they spoke after the postponement. Reading boss Steve Coppell said: “Obviously you want to play because it's Saturday and it's FA Cup weekend, but there was no decision to be made.

“The referee gave it time and then looked at the forecast which said it would be heavy until after half four. He was going to leave it, but the immediate forecast was for the rain to continue and it would have been pointless just hanging around on the off chance.”

Speaking not too long after the game had been called off, following which the weather did improve, he added: “Yes, it is brighter out there now, but the pitch would have needed a while to be prepared. We would rather have played obviously, as opposed to wondering, and now having to train tomorrow.”

Clarets' boss Steve Cotterill agreed totally and said that Styles had no choice at all. “Unfortunately, the weather pays no attention to criticism and I don't think the referee had any choice if I'm honest,” he said. “I would imagine their groundsman would have been having babies if the game had gone ahead.

“It is disappointing because we were desperate to play, but there's not a lot you can do about it. We said we were happy to wait around for a delayed kick off and if the raid had ceased then it might have been ok, but the weather forecast the referee was given said heavy rain until half time.

“Yes, it is disappointing because we have come all this way, but it is also disappointing for the supporters. The fans are as good as gold and we had to go and thank them for making the long journey.

“We had a good feeling about today though. We thought we might be in the hat for the fourth round, and we are.”