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Coppell feeling better about Reading survival chances

Reading boss Steve Coppell is feeling more confident about their survival chances this season.

A result at West Ham on Boxing Day would consolidate the Royals' mid-table position and allow them to complete 2007 at Spurs on Saturday free from any pressing relegation worries.

That was a far cry from a few weeks ago when erratic results plunged them into the drop zone and a 7-4 thrashing at Portsmouth prompted Coppell to declare there would be wholesale changes once the transfer window opened in January.

Significant funds have since been made available but Coppell made it clear he would now be comfortable finishing the season with the same set of players, who will take an unbeaten four-game run to Upton Park and have recorded victories over Liverpool and Sunderland this month.

He said: "I challenged the players and I made the decision (not to make major changes) in the summer after a tremendous season last year.

"It was incredible to finish eighth last year. And with the players having responded to the challenge was their reward for me to get rid of four or five? No.

"We have set the next challenge and now after half a season we have reached the conclusion that we need two or three reinforcements to make us competitive.

"That will be our intention but come the last day of January if we haven't got anyone I'll go with what I've got. I'm quite happy going with these boys."

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Tribal Football Staff

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