Reading have no worries over Portsmouth's commitment towards Fulham clash

Last updated at 10:36 10 May 2008


Reading manager Steve Coppell is confident Portsmouth will field a strong side against relegation rivals Fulham while the Royals are battling for Barclays Premier League survival at Derby.

Reading know they must produce a better result at Pride Park tomorrow than Fulham manage at Pompey, who will be putting the final touches on their preparations for the FA Cup final in seven days' time.

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Portsmouth pulled off a similar late escape two seasons ago and it is now

likely that Fulham, who had appeared doomed until the last few weeks, will

emulate them.

But Coppell is convinced Pompey boss Harry Redknapp will put out a competitive

team and argued that fate could still favour the Royals, who are level on points

with Fulham but have a worse goal difference.

He said: "Harry was in this situation only two years ago and I just trust that

everything will be committed.

"Luck could be a massive factor. Fulham are on the front foot now and they

have done the most to escape so the momentum is with them. But in one game

anything can happen.

"It could be a refereeing decision, injury or just a mistake."

Reading and Fulham could both go down if they fail to win and second bottom

Birmingham, who are a point behind, beat Blackburn, but Coppell insists there is

no point worrying about events outside his control.

He said: "I'm sure the scores will filter through but what's the point in

thinking about what anyone else is doing? All we can do is try to win a football

game and if we do we have got a chance.

"If we draw we will have less of a chance and if we lose then we have no

chance. It is for us to do something and the integrity of the league is such

that I know Derby will be going flat out, Blackburn will be going flat out and

Portsmouth will be going flat out.

"I have no qualms about what anyone else is doing. It is down to us to take

advantage of the opportunity.

"And I am sure the players won't ask about other scores at half-time. I have

been in those kind of dressing rooms before."

Reading have not scored in their last six games so will have to end that dismal

record at Pride Park against a team which has kept only three clean sheets all

season.

Coppell added: "I have an inner belief that we are capable of scoring goals

but given our recent record there is no way I can be confident.

"We have been working in training on attacking situations and I have my faith

in all of the players. It is an 11-man job. Just because the forwards are not

scoring shouldn't mean we are not scoring."

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