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Bassett: Reading coach Downes no troublemaker

Dave Bassett can understand Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson getting the hump with Reading's Wally Downes - but insists his old Wimbledon player is one of the best coaches in the country.

Bassett said: "Steve (Coppell) and Wally are chalk and cheese and that's what makes them such a successful partnership. Steve has a dry sense of humour. Wally is very quick-witted and he picks up on people's deficiencies very quickly. That makes people vulnerable and he's no one's fool.

"He can be frightening for people trying to get to know him, but this reputation as a troublemaker is completely unfair. He's still upset that the FA allowed Warnock off scot-free last season.

"He can be intimidating but he's a clever man. He's not obsessed with football and he can talk with some authority about religion, politics and literature. He never ceases to surprise me."

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Tribal Football Staff

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