Date: 4th January 2007 at 6:25pm
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Reading boss Steve Coppell has decided to field a Reserve team for the FA Cup third round clash with the Clarets this Saturday

Coppell says his decision is in-keeping with an established policy for cup games.

Steve Coppell is quoted as saying to Sky Sports ‘This is no disrespect to Burnley – I would have done this if we had been playing Arsenal at home or anybody at home. This was something I had in my mind as soon as the third round draw was made.

‘We won’t be remembered for whatever we do in the FA Cup this year. This club has been in the FA Cup for the last 136 years.

‘They haven’t been in the Premiership and that is our priority, I make no bones about that. The Premiership is our personal FA Cup final every week.

‘Last season was all about promotion – this season is all about the Premiership.

‘Other teams with bigger resources can concentrate on a couple of challenges but that is not for us.

‘But it is not as though I’m throwing the game away – I want us to win on Saturday and go as far as we can in the competition.’

Adam Federici is poised to make his debut as goalkeeper. A comeback for long-term injury absentees Bobby Convey and Dave Kitson may also be on the cards.

So what do Clarets fans think about this? The last time a Premiership team tried this against us in a Cup match was Liverpool at the Turf a couple of seasons back and they went away with egg on their faces and a lot of criticism following the Clarets 1-0 win.

This might be a lifeline to the Clarets and give us a better chance of winning the match but my gut feeling is this sort of thing should not be allowed to happen and is unfair on other teams in the FA Cup. Does it not also let the Reading fanbase down? Not that I care but if we win what will they think? Will they not criticise the manager for fielding a weakened team?