Reading boss Coppell slams England friendly programme

Reading boss Steve Coppell has slammed England's friendly programme after losing Nicky Shorey for yesterday's 3-0 thrashing by Bolton Wanderers.

Former England winger Coppell said: "Everyone was moaning about there being only six substitutes so my player (Shorey) gets injured and has to stay on.

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"It means he was unavailable for us. It was a situation exacerbated by having to play on. He wants to create the right impression when he should not have to.

"They (England) are on a money-making agenda, we are on a preparation-for-the-season agenda. I suggest international matches should be meaningful.

"Real purpose and value would be get-togethers and a series of training sessions. At a time when players need a rest after three games in a week they were heading across Europe.

"All these things took the sting out of our legs if you like."

Shorey was one of a number of Reading players in action during the week and Coppell said: "They were mickey mouse internationals.

"(Andre) Bikey was in Tokyo and played for 60 minutes. The manager (of Cameroon) said he had an arrangement with me but I do not know who he is.

"Players should be proud of playing for their country but do not tell me these games are preparation for the Euro 2008 qualifiers.

"It is a different agenda and it is not the fault of the national team managers but the system.

"The result was that my players had no energy and it wasn't helped either in that we had to travel.

"Yet Manchester United, Chelsea and Arsenal were all at home."

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