Jewell in Royals row

Derby boss furious with Reading comments

Paul Jewell has taken a swipe at Reading following comments by Royals assistant manager Kevin Dillon about his Derby side.

Jewell has accused The Royals of behaving like a Champions League club after Dillon suggested his side should expect to win against Derby on Sunday.

Steve Coppell's side travel to Pride Park knowing even a victory may not be enough to prevent them joining the Rams in the Championship next season.

Royals number two Dillon suggested they have the easiest game of the four sides still fighting for survival and spelled out his confidence a win at Pride Park will be enough to keep them up, adding: "Let's put it this way, if we can't beat Derby, it will be hard to take."

But the comments have infuriated Jewell, who believes his team deserve more respect.

"Kevin Dillon's comments lack tact," he said.

"You would think Reading had been playing Champions League all these seasons instead of down in the Championship and the Second Division where Derby and Wigan also came from.

"At Derby this year we've been sneered at, we've been laughed at, we've been ridiculed and I can accept it after the season we've had - but for Reading to say things like that is not right.

"People can have an opinion but it's the way you put your opinion across. If they can't beat us and they go down then they deserve to go down, Kevin Dillon is quite right.


"So I think Kevin Dillon might have been quite right to think it but to say it was quite wrong.

"It is something I would never do - make a comment about someone else's team unless it's positive."

In fact, the County manager insists Dillon's outburst could work in his side's favour and revealed it has already been a topic of discussion in the Derby dressing room.

"The lads have been speaking about it and if I was Reading who do you want to come to last game of the season? A side that have won once at home all season - but it's a dangerous game they're playing," Jewell added.

And the Rams manager, who is yet to preside over a league win since his arrival in November, does not expect opposite number Coppell to have been too impressed with the comments either.

"I think Reading is a terrific club and Steve Coppell is an excellent manager," added Jewell.

"I know Kevin quite well as it happens and the next time Steve rings up for a match video to watch I shall say no.

"I think Steve and the players and the staff will find the comments strange. I think he will be annoyed by it. He is a terrific manager and comments like that at such a vital part of the season can't help."