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Page last updated at 13:39 GMT, Thursday, 2 April 2009 14:39 UK

Coppell concerned by health risks

Steve Coppell
Coppell has been in charge at Reading since October 2003

Reading manager Steve Coppell says he would stand down from his post if the job ever began to affect his health.

The 53-year-old has been in football management since 1984 and, although he is happy at the Royals, knows how stress and pressure can take its toll.

"I am of an advancing age now and I am conscious of my health and fitness," Coppell told BBC Radio Berkshire.

"No-one forces us to do this job. If it's affecting your health badly then get out - life is more important."

Coppell says he is aware of the medical risks faced by modern-day managers and explained in an exclusive interview that his health is of paramount concern.

He blamed stress after resigning as Manchester City manager after just 33 days in charge in 1996 but recently reached the milestone of 1,000 matches as a league boss.

"I recently had a medical with the League Managers' Association," Coppell added, and quipped, "it really gives you a finger on the pulse!

"You are very much aware of where your figures are for cholesterol, your heart and the way it responds to certain situations."

With just seven games of the season remaining, the Royals are third in the Championship and chasing promotion to the Premier League.

Coppell knows that the pressure placed on him and his staff in the next few weeks could have a damaging effect.

"The job is intense, perhaps more so than ever at this time of year," Coppell explained. "It's very prolonged.

if you think it's affecting your health badly then get out, because life is more important.

Reading manager Steve Coppell

"The actual core of the work I do, I still think is brilliant but the worst part of the job is losing and it does affect you badly.

"Possibly even harder is explaining the loss; sometimes these things just happen."

And, as much as Coppell longs for promotion back to the top flight, he is adamant it is not the be-all and end-all.

Coppell added: "Come a week after the end of the season everyone will be talking about different things and the thing you thought was the most important thing in the world, whether it be promotion or relegation, will soon be forgotten and the next challenge will be presented."

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see also
Manager Coppell reaches milestone
18 Mar 09 |  Reading
Madejski keen for Coppell to stay
12 May 08 |  Reading
Seagulls go for Coppell
07 Oct 02 |  Eng Div 1
Coppell named new Brentford boss
08 May 01 |  Brentford

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