Young Royals throw Luton a verve ballBy Nick Ive
August 27, 2008
Steve Coppell hailed his young guns as Reading demolished Luton Town 5-1 in the second round of the Carling Cup at Madejski Stadium last night.
Reading cruised home with a polished display which saw three of the club’s youngsters all find the net.
Alex Pearce, Jem Karacan and James Henry all netted after the Hunt brothers, Noel and Stephen, had opened the floodgates with goals early on in the first half.
Luton’s Ryan Charles grabbed a consolation near the end, but Royals boss Coppell was left beaming with his side’s display.
Coppell said: “People assume that I have no real interest in going far in this competition and yet the work we put in is the same as in league games.
“It is one of the few chances the young players have to play.
“Before play-offs came into being, you could be in no-man’s land with 10 games to go and experiment with them, but you can’t now.
“Games like this are ideal. It’s refreshing when young players come in and show an energy, a verve and an enthusiasm which we as coaches appreciate and so do supporters.
“One of the positives in being relegated is that the younger players have more chance of being selected in this division than in the Premier League. They can now see daylight at the end of the tunnel.
“We have put them out on loan but this is now part of their progression.”
Reading still face the threat of losing a couple of their stars to Premier League clubs and Coppell conceded: “I’ll admit that there are still a few players, who given the opportunity, would prefer to be elsewhere.
“We’re not in control of what happens. Every 15 minutes you get a phone call from an agent trying to stimulate activity as they only make money when there are transfers.
“But you see the performance of young lads who have come through our system. I love the shout of ‘come on Reading’. It shows that boys have come through and feel for their club. It was refreshing.”
James Harper and Kevin Doyle are the two most likely to leave. Doyle is being chased by Sunderland and Aston Villa, while Harper is wanted by Middlesbrough.
Pick up Wednesday's Evening Post for out full report.