Both Reading manager Steve Coppell and full back Nick Shorey have admitted they’re wary of whether Reading is ready to deal with the pressures of Europe, should the club qualify through the Premiership this season,
“In footballing terms it is not good for this club to be in Europe, that doesn’t mean that we are not going to try and win as many games as we can,” Coppell told Sky Sports.
“But we are certainly not equipped to be in that stratosphere at this moment.
“We just want to win as many games as we can and see where we end up, and then take it from there.
“I’m only interested in what is good for the club, and there have been a lot of clubs in recent years that have gone into Europe, taken extra players on boards, and found it not be the nirvana or holy grail that many people think it is.
“Our concentration, as new boys in the league, has got to be in terms of trying to maintain our status and we do not need the distraction.”
Meanwhile, Shorey followed up with,
“It’d be lovely to get into Europe and the fans would love it I’m sure,” Shorey told Sky Sports News.
“But maybe it is a bit too premature to be playing in Europe. You’ve got to have a massive squad for that kind of competition.”
Everyone knows the point Coppell and Shorey are making. The club may be doing well in the Premiership but won’t have the funds to build a squad large enough to comfortably compete in Europe as well. Then there are those “European Hangover” matches where, if you listen to certain whingers, you are 100% guaranteed to lose. The logical decision is to focus on safety for the next couple years to avoid getting too big for your boots ala West Ham.
But we’re wondering how Reading supporters feel? Would they prefer to finish outside the European places to give themselves the best chance of long term Premiership survival? Or would European nights at the Madejski be too good to turn down, plus the lure of European football to dangle in front of would-be transfer targets?