Reading boss Coppell wants Lita stay

Reading boss Steve Coppell insists he is not looking to offload spare part striker Leroy Lita when the transfer window reopens in January.

He has yet to score in the Premier League this term and has not even been making the bench in recent weeks.

Coppell admitted it was likely that other clubs would try to sign him in a month's time - but insisted he was in no rush to part with the 22-year-old.

He said: "I'm sure other clubs will look at the Leroy situation and think there is an opportunity there but I have said all along I need four forwards and that should produce healthy competition.

"There is hardly anyone I want to lose in the transfer window."

Coppell, who will continue to overlook Lita for Saturday's visit of Middlesbrough, added: "He is not happy because he wants to play but I would have to leave Kitson or Doyle out and they have done all right.

"Longy has proved to be the most effective one coming off the bench so it is a sticky situation for Leroy. He has got to be patient.

"For any player who is not playing it is frustrating. It is like when the British Lions go on tour and there is a midweek team and a Saturday team.

"You inevitably feel left out even though we always train as one squad so everyone is connected.

"By his own admission his form hasn't been brilliant this year. It is not as if he has been banging them in non-stop. He has not been at the top of his game this year."

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