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Coppell article on Herman and Charlton

article from PA Sport

Reading manager Steve Coppell is hoping to avoid a nasty bite from the ``rottweiler'' he once signed.

The Royals entertain bottom club Charlton tomorrow as they seek to build on last week's 3-1 victory over Spurs, which ended a five-game losing streak. The Addicks, who sacked manager Iain Dowie and replaced him with Les Reed this
week, are likely to call on giant defender Hermann Hreidarsson as they look to avoid another defeat and the Iceland international is a player Coppell knows well.

Coppell signed him for Crystal Palace in 1997 and both followed chairman Ron Noades to Brentford before resuming life in the Premiership. And according to the Reading boss, who will pick Stephen Hunt and Ibrahima Sonko despite revelations that both have received death threats, their relationship has always been one of football's more unusual tales.

``I went to watch him on Midsummer's Day in Iceland where the rain was coming in sideways. I was wearing a massive overcoat and still wasn't warm enough. Then I went for a shower at a hotel where the hot springs come out of the
ground so the water smelled of bad eggs from the sulphur. He had already been over on trial and I was there to see what he was playing like and he just confirmed what I had thought - that he was physically very strong and committed.

``Ron Noades took him to Brentford and the closest I get to him now is Ron's dog, which is named after Hermann. It's a Rottweiler, which is quite appropriate. Hermann's wife is an international too, she was a good player. And David ``Kid'' Jensen's wife Gudrun was the initial scout for Hermann. It's amazing how football brings players to the fore sometimes.''

Dowie lasted just 12 league games before being replaced by Reed, the Football Association's former head of youth development who had been assistant head coach at the Valley.

Coppell admitted it was difficult to predict how the upheaval would affect the Charlton players. He said: ``There are two ways it could go. They moved very quickly not to make an interim appointment. Les Reed is the permanent choice so my inclination is that Charlton will be out to impress the new manager. I look at it in terms of the pedigree they have got over the years. They have been in this division for a number of years and I think it is fair to say the longer you are in this division the more chance you have of staying there.

``The position they are in is obviously a difficult one but given their personnel and the attitude they have developed over a number of years they have certainly got enough time to get out of it.''

Skipper Graeme Murty expressed a similar sentiment.
``It's going to make it harder. We will be against a group of players who are hurt and have a lot to prove - and they have played in the Premier League for a long time, so they know what it is all about. Whenever we come into a game against an established Premiership team we are the underdog because we still have something to prove. So we prepare exactly the same for every team, be it Manchester United or Chelsea, Charlton or Fulham.

``We know that every game we play we have to be 100% in every department to get a result as the standard is that high.''
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