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Page last updated at 11:20 GMT, Wednesday, 21 May 2008 12:20 UK

Fans 'convinced Coppell to stay'

Athole Still
Still also paid tribute to Reading chairman John Madejski (Getty)

Steve Coppell's agent Athole Still has revealed the Reading manager initially decided to leave the club.

Reading announced on Tuesday that Coppell will remain in charge next season despite the Royals' relegation.

Still told BBC Radio Berkshire it was the positive reaction of supporters that persuaded Coppell to stay.

He said: "He felt that he'd let people down - the fans, the players and John Madejski too. So he felt he should fall on his sword."

"It made a major difference, hearing from the fans, talking to John Madejski, people within the club, talking to me - because I am really a very big and genuine Royals fan, so I wanted him to stay.

"It was the aggregate of all these things that meant he re-thought it and said, 'I'm going to finish the job and take them back up'."

He (Coppell) sees this contract as one more season, that his aim is to get the club back into the Premier League and then he feels he may want to try something different.

Reading chief executive Nigel Howe

Still also paid tribute to the Reading chairman.

"It was a pleasure dealing with John Madejski who I keep saying is the model of what a football chairman should be.

"He has a real passion for the game, although he'll admit he's no expert. It is not because he didn't put his hand in his pocket that Reading went down."

Still added it was too early to tell whether Coppell was only intending to stay at Reading for the last year of his contract.

"We just have to wait and see on that one. It's too early to say, there's been no conversation beyond that."

Reading chief executive Nigel Howe has told BBC Radio Berkshire that Coppell's longer-term future remains unclear.

He said: "He's almost said that he sees this contract as one more season, that his aim is to get the club back into the Premier League and then he feels he may want to try something different.

"But you never know, he wasn't even staying three or four weeks ago and he's stayed. So who can say? If we're successful that might change his mind again."


see also
Reading offer quartet new deals
16 May 08 |  Reading


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