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 Posted by ESPN Staff
May 5, 2008

Coppell ready for 'biggest game in Reading history'

Steve Coppell will accept the blame if Reading are relegated from the Premier League next week - but a summer transfer kitty awaits if they stay up.

Coppell's decision not to spend at the end of last season or in January has backfired, leaving them needing a win at Derby and crucially for Fulham to drop points at Portsmouth on the final day of the campaign.

'It's arguably the biggest game in the club's history,' said the Reading boss. 'We enjoy playing in the Premier League and we want to stay here.'

Chairman John Madejski will then allow his manager to learn from his mistakes in the last transfer windows. 'We have already developed plans to make significant investment in the playing squad during the summer,' Madejski said. 'But at the moment the short-term imperative of retaining our position in the top flight is our only focus.'

After finishing eighth in their rookie campaign in the top flight, Coppell did not want to upset the balance of his squad by making radical changes.

'Since the chairman has come here he's built a club that's self-financing and that, ultimately, may be our downfall because I took the calculated risk not to spend as much money last summer and in January,' Coppell said.

'If it doesn't work it's my fault. Always, the manager always gets the blame. When the team win it's because the players are great. When the team loses, my shoulders are broad enough, I'll take anything that's coming.'

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