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Royals ready for play-offs - Coppell
Published : 04 May 2009 08:47:18
The Royals were condemned to a semi-final with Burnley after losing 2-1 at home to Birmingham - who celebrated clinching second place at the Madejski Stadium. Coppell must now take his side to Turf Moor next Saturday, before hosting Owen Coyle's team back on home turf on the Tuesday night. He said: "If there was no play-offs and the top three went up then we wouldn't have a chance so we now have a second opportunity which we must take. "Play-offs are totally different and it's now a cup run. "We've got to try and do a job up there and do better than we did in the league when we lost 1-0. "Then it'll all come down to the home game." Coyle's Clarets enjoyed lengthy runs in both the FA Cup and Carling Cup this season and Coppell knows his side are in for a tough test. He said: "I've got great respect for Burnley. "They have played so many games that at various stages of the season everyone thought they had blown themselves out but they are still there and it will be a tough test. "We have home advantage in the second leg but the way our home form has been I'd rather have both legs away. "We have come through 46 games which seems like a lifetime so I've thanked the players. We find ourselves having to go in to extra time and I'm not sure they are grateful for that but I am at the minute." Birmingham manager Alex McLeish hailed striker Kevin Phillips after the veteran hit the winner on the hour mark. Phillips has been in and out of the side this season after joining from West Bromwich Albion last summer but showed the composure which has seen him score 249 goals in his career when he slotted past Marcus Hahnemann to seal three points. McLeish said: "Phillips had a good chance in the first half to put us ahead but he was maybe feeling a bit rusty after not starting many games in the last month. "But he has it in the bank after doing it over the years. "His fitness and sharpness has been there for years. "At first I thought he had overcooked it but I saw it go in the far corner. "It was a bit of an ordeal the last 20 minutes but the players stood firm and we got over the line."