JOLÃ¢â‚¬â„¢S READING SALUTE
Martin Jol saluted the achievements of Saturday's opponents Reading this season, pointing out that such a strong first season in the top flight is something of a rarity.
Martin Jol saluted the achievements of Saturday's opponents Reading this season, pointing out that such a strong first season in the top flight is something of a rarity.While the manager acknowledges the first season showing of West Ham and Wigan last term and Ipswich winning a European spot in 2000-01, he suspects the performances of Reading in their first Premiership campaign take some beating.
"I don't think it has happened so much in recent seasons," reasoned Martin. "Of course, you can talk about West Ham last season and Wigan, who were very strong before Christmas before ending up in mid-table. Then there was Ipswich a few years ago.
"I think Reading are totally different and have been one of the best promoted teams from over the last five or six years taking everything into consideration - getting promotion and then being a revelation in the Premiership.
"I thought last season you could see the difference with them playing so well in the Championship and winning almost all the games. That is not easy, as everybody knows, the Championship is probably the most difficult league in England to dominate.
"They did ever so well and you have to give them all the credit for continuing that in the Premiership. What more can you ask for? A team coming up and doing so well."
Three of the points in Reading's account came at the expense of us back in November when a lead courtesy of a Robbie Keane penalty was overturned by goals from Nicky Shorey, Steven Sidwell and Kevin Doyle.
"When we played there we knew they were a good team, but I felt we played better than them in the first half. Then we conceded the goal from the left back and then from a corner kick, before they got another in the second half. We didn't look 100 per cent and that was the disappointing thing.
"All respect to Reading and they are entitled to be doing so well. If you look at their players, with Hunt on the left, the goal poacher Kitson up front, along with Doyle who has played twice for the Republic of Ireland this week.
"They've got good players and they are proving that to people. What more can you ask from Stevie Coppell? Hopefully everybody gave him credit for what he did before, but what he has done this season is second to none."
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