We've given away three poor goals

Last updated : 10 January 2007 By Tony Scholes
For Steve Coppell it was a good enough night, he got two of his players back into action after long term injuries, tried out others, and saw his side win through to a tie against either Birmingham or Newcastle.

“There were a lot of things I was happy with because it was freshly formed,” he said. “We were a bit loose when we didn't have possession, but when we did have it we looked very, very positive going forward. There were a lot of good things considering what we'd set out to do. There were a few flowery displays in terms of work rate and effort though.

“Most defensive units are an understanding built over time, so to throw five players together and get a victory was very pleasing. But, if we analyse some of the defending I think we'll spend a bit of time in the classroom.”

Coppell had words of praise for some of his players. On goalkeeper Adam Federici he said: “He made a couple of tremendous saves and it could easily have been a much different scoreline but for him. He looked accomplished, and he kicked and distributed the ball well.”

And for youngster Alex Pearce who came on in the second half he commented: “It was a fair old test for him up against a player such as Ade Akinbiyi, but it was an opportunity for him even if it was only for twenty minutes.”

Steve Cotterill had no doubts as to why we had lost the game, the way we gave the goals away. “At the end of the day, it was our defending that cost us,” he said. “We probably weren't going to get anything from the game because of how we defended and that's what cost us, not so much our missed chances.

“Having said that, had we taken our chances we could well have won the game 5-3, and probably even more given the number we had. Their keeper has made some great saves and it was a spirited fight back but it came a little late in the day. We probably needed another goal with about ten minutes to play to have the chance to nick another and force a replay.

“But we've given away three poor goals tonight and it has put the other six players under major pressure. We could have done with Michael Duff playing well and three others beside him, there were too many off colour for me.

“We defended higher up the pitch in the second half and went and met the first ball and because of that the Reading strikers didn't have as much time on the ball. But we had been too deep and that puts a lot of stress and strain on the midfield four and the front two.”

He was pleased with some of the contributions and added: “The plus points are Ade being back and scoring again, and he will get fitter as time goes on. I also thought Kyle Lafferty did well when he came on as did Alan Mahon who showed some glimpses that gives you something to think about ahead of the weekend.

“So did Garreth O'Connor's goal but I thought Wade Elliott played very well although he was running on empty at the end.”