Coppell wary of Blades threat

Last updated : 09 April 2009 By Bladesmadeditor

Steve Coppell
Image copyright to SportBox.TV
Third take on fourth in an intriguing Championship encounter between the Blades and the Royals. In the past their have been some fiery encounters to say the least, including Keith Gillespie's red card in the Premiership season and Neil Warnock's confrontation with Wally Downes in the same game. Just seconds after Gillespie came on as substitute, he was immediately sent off when he clashed with Stephen Hunt. Extraordinarily, United's last victory over Reading in any competition was in the illustrious 2002/2003 season. Strikes from Jon Harley and Dean Windass sealed the Blades' victory at the Madejski Stadium.

Steve Coppell expects another historical game, and knows how crucial it is to collect maximum points. He said: "This game is very, very important, simple as. It has a life of its own, you don't need to explain anything to the players.

"Sheffield United are a strong, well-organised team. Kevin Blackwell has done a great job. When James Beattie was sold people were looking at that with raised eyebrows but its proved a terrific piece of management.

"Players have come in, he's done really well with loan signings and the established players are motivated and enthused. There's a really good atmosphere, and that's why they've been getting results."

Coppell attended United's 2:1 win over Barnsley in midweek and admits he was impressed with Kevin Blackwell's men. Both Darius Henderson and Greg Halford featured in that game, and both are of course former Royals. Coppell explains his thoughts on the duo and also the reasons behind the sale of them both.

He continued: "If Darius had stayed he'd have waited another year or two to make the impact he's having now. He's the stereotypical type of centre-forward you want, he's big, aggressive, good in the air, quick and got a good touch. I'm sure he'd like to score against us on Friday.

"I don't think Greg will want to prove a point because it was just football business to why we sold him, and he understands. It was a position where we had a number of players and like I say it was just football business."

Finally the 53-year-old comments on the rivalry between the two teams. He finished: " There's rivalry and respects, as there is with every team. Its third take on fourth, we all want to be promoted so the prize doesn't need describing, its just how you get to it."