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Page last updated at 13:45 GMT, Wednesday, 13 May 2009 14:45 UK

Williams tribute as Coppell exits

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Home form cost Coppell - Williams

Former Reading captain Ady Williams has described out-going manager Steve Coppell as the best the club has had.

Williams, who made over 300 appearances for the Royals, was Coppell's first captain when he took over in 2003.

He told BBC Berkshire Coppell made an immediate impact: "He was quiet and unassuming, but he had respect, knowledge and experience.

"No-one in the world of football ever has a bad word to say about him. He was the best manager in their history."

Williams added: "I've learned so much from the man, as all the players have.

"He was always constructive - if there was a problem it was a question of how to rectify that, and the players always appreciated that."

Coppell resigned following Reading's exit from the Championship play-offs, after losing 3-0 on aggregate to Burnley in the semi-finals.

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But Williams said he is hopeful for the club's future.

"Everyone's full of doom and gloom this morning, but there is a lot of good young talent coming through," he said,

"It's a good squad and a young squad and the reserve league table shows that.

"You have to give the lads, the management and the staff credit. These are quality players. It was a fantastic first season in the Premiership and everyone got a little bit carried away - the only one who didn't was Steve Coppell.

"He'd seen it all before. There were injuries and suspensions and things like that - excuses that Steve Coppell hasn't even used, which goes to show the quality of the man.

"It shows how far Reading Football Club has come, to finish fourth in the Championship and there's so much disappointment out there."



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