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Coppell eager to avoid Reading blame-game

Reading boss Steve Coppell is eager not to spark a witch-hunt as he plans major changes to his starting XI.

The Royals slipped to a 2-1 home defeat by Aston Villa on Sunday but the manner of the defeat was more comprehensive than the score suggested.

The former Crystal Palace boss is likely to make four or five, with defenders Kalifa Cisse and Ibrahima Sonko the men most at risk.

He said: "My conclusion after the Aston Villa game is the same now. I have shown more than enough faith in a lot of people and would be justified in changing all eleven, there's no problem about that.

"But because I have faith in a lot of them there will be changes but not that many of them.

"And I don't want anyone to assume or presume that the players who will be left out are being blamed.

"I don't think there is anyone at the moment who is jumping out and saying 'look at me, I'm playing really well, I should be the first name on your team-sheet'.

"There is a collective responsibility here and I am not part of the blame mentality. I would never isolate players and criticise them. I might in the dressing room but never in public.

"I hold the naive opinion that every player wants to win a football game and every mistake is a genuine mistake. You can tell when players are not genuine."

Coppell also revealed that almost a whole team of reserve players had been knocking on his door asking why they were not being given a game.

He said: "I have had a lot of conversations with players who have been outside the first team and they say 'I should be playing' so this will be an opportunity for some for sure.

"I have had seven or eight players who have come to me to say 'I should be playing because those in my position haven't set the world on fire' - it may be that I have been too loyal to some players."

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Tribal Football Staff

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