Former Reading FC coach, Wally Downes, felt that he should have hit Neil Warnock harder when the two clashed at the SCL Stadium in 2006.

Downes, currently currently coaching in Jamaica, was speaking on popular Royals podcast, 1871 Podcast, and delved into his five years as Steve Coppell's assistant manager.

Joining in 2004, he was instrumental in the club's rise to the Premier League in 2005/06 and subsequent eighth-placed finish in the top tier.

Famously clashing with Warnock, the then Sheffield United manager who has announced his retirement from the game in recent weeks, Downes revealed that he still is not a fan of the infamous Yorkshireman.



Speaking on the podcast, he said: "I wasn’t proud of myself because I should’ve clumped him harder. He was a divisive character. I didn’t like him. He always said he didn’t mean it but what if one day a defender did go over and break someone’s leg and you had shouted the instruction, they’re young players out there.

"I knew that he probably didn’t mean it but I knew he used to say it and what it would instil in his players. He said break [Steve] Sidwell’s legs, and I didn’t like it.

"You can’t knock what he’s done but he wasn’t my cup of tea."



Renowned for his defensive work with the team, and his ability to turn a group of players in a team, famously playing more than 200 times for Wimbledon during the 'Crazy Gang' era- Downes insists that his style is more uncommon in modern football.

He continued: "I knew the value of team play, all for one and one for all. I’m not sure where I would stand now with my style of coaching, it was very vocal and encouraging, keeping the intensity high.

"I’m not sure that works now. There’s not a lot of teams that work that way, there’s a lot to be said for individual coaching and personal development, whereas I was about getting the group together and working for each other."

Leaving with Coppell in 2009, after failing to get the club promoted immediately after relegation in 2007/08, the 60-year-old still looks back on his time with the club with a tinge of disappointment.


Reading Chronicle:


He concluded: "I’m a little disappointed as the plan was always to extend the stadium. We got to January in the first year and it was all geared to be happening. We finished eighth and thought how we would push on from here and unfortunately we ended up with a budget which didn’t go up to get players in to improve on eighth.

"If you stand still in football, you go backwards. We spent four or five million in the second season, we didn’t recruit that well. It wasn’t a budget where we could have a go, and it deflated me. Steve was very pragmatic but once that model of the stadium didn’t happen, I thought ‘Ah’.

"The dream was 'get into the Premier League, expand the stadium, be competitive.' We got to Premier League, got to eighth and nothing happened.

"It seemed to fizz away and it should’ve been movement and lets get going. You could’ve seen progression. That’s not what we said was going to happen."


Click here to listen to the full podcast.