Reading boss Coppell confident of surprise start

Reading boss Steve Coppell is hoping for an early indication that the Royals' fairytale is set to continue.

The start to the new Premier League campaign could hardly have been tougher for last term's impressive newcomers, who finished eighth and were just a single goal away from European qualification.

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Coppell was optimistic his players could rise to those challenges however.

He said: "We didn't get a result from any of these first three fixtures last year, so whatever we get this year I hope will be better than last.

"I'm not saying they are throwaway games and we could play well in all three and still lose, but it wouldn't be the end of the world.

"And if we pick up points from these games, it is a significant indication that we may have moved up a gear.

"In many ways I look upon this week as a 'can't lose' week."

Coppell admitted he had no idea how tough the entire campaign would prove to be, despite having had to field endless questions about the pitfalls of 'second season syndrome'.

He mused: "What is achievement for us? I don't have an answer to that. We will end up wherever we deserve, that's just the way I feel.

"If we are good enough, we will be up the table, if we're not good enough we'll be relegated. And if that's the worst thing that will happen so be it."

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