Royals' best is yet to comeBy Nick Ive
September 30, 2008
Steve Coppell believes there is more to come from his free-scoring Reading side — and he is hoping his players prove the point at Molineux tonight (7.45pm kick-off).
Royals were again in sensational form on Saturday, thumping Swansea 4-0 and prompting their boss to describe the first half as “one of the best displays” in his five years at the club.
However, while Coppell’s men are producing the goods at Madejski Stadium, they have yet to win an away match in the league this season.
And the task of ending their poor form on the road could hardly be more daunting than a trip to early pace-setters Wolves.
Mick McCarthy’s unbeaten side have dropped just two points all season and are the Coca-Cola Championship’s leading scorers with 23 goals.
Coppell told the Evening Post: “Wolves look like genuine title contenders. The table doesn’t lie. They look to be a real force at home and away. They are good down the flanks and it is hard to find a significant weakness.
“We will certainly have to be at our best to beat them.
“But I feel it is the best place we have to go, I really do, for no other reason other than it’s a game that excites. It’s a good game to judge ourselves and we’ll be able to see exactly where we are.
“We are well placed and the team is playing well, but we have more in the locker – both in terms of individuals and as a team. There is much more to come from us.”
Wolves stand to open up an 11-point gap on Reading by winning tonight.
But Coppell said: “I certainly wouldn’t lose any sleep over any deficit we might have if we were to lose.
“I would prefer to have the points on the board for sure but there is still another seven months left of the season.”
Ivar Ingimarsson is ready to face his former club.
The central defender made 15 appearances for Wolves before joining Reading in October 2003.
And he knows that Molineux is a tough place to go.
He said: “They are a fantastic club and have some unbelievable fans up there.
“They make loads of noise and it’s good to play in front of them. Football-wise it wasn’t the best of times, but you just gather experience from that and that has helped me in my career.”
Royals are once again likely to be without James Harper, who has an ankle injury.
But Kevin Doyle should recover from a dead leg suffered in the final minute of last Saturday’s victory over Swansea.
Graeme Murty and Michael Duberry are both ruled out by calf injuries, while Marek Matejovsky’s ankle problem continues to keep him sidelined, although the Czech international midfielder is back in training.