Gibbs' Reading reunion

19th September 2017
First team

Nigel Gibbs makes a rare return to Reading this evening hoping to get one over on some old friends.

Gibbs heads back to the club where he spent seven years developing himself further as a coach – and assistant manager – following a 23-year spell at Watford.

The 51-year-old, now assistant coach with the Swans, is hoping to see Paul Clement’s side book a spot in the last 16 of the Carabao Cup at the expense of the Royals.

He experienced the highs and lows of football during his time at the Madejski Stadium.

After taking a year out from coaching following his dismissal from Watford, he was offered a ticket back into the game under then Reading boss Steve Coppell.

At the Berkshire club he would experience one of his most painful memories in football in 2011 – a famous play-off final defeat to the Swans – before lifting the Championship title the following year.

Now he’s on the opposing side of that memorable day at Wembley, with Gibbs targeting a possible return to the capital in May.

“I’m really looking forward to going back to Reading – I’ve only been there once since I left, and that was during my time with Leeds,” he said.

“The only way for me to enjoy going back to Reading is to get the right result.

“This is the most important game for us because it’s the next one.

“We want to keep getting good results with good performances.”

He added: “I had some fantastic times at Reading, though the Wembley game was not a good day for me. Firstly, the result went the other way, which was a massive blow.

“I was asked to sit in the stand for the second half because I questioned the referee on a few occasions, while our substitute Jay Tabb was sent off.

“It wasn’t our day, but then the following season we won the league so it worked out in the end.

“Aside from that, I went to Reading while Steve Coppell was manager - he had managed over 1,000 games - so I managed to learn a lot from him.

“I was still a young coach in that sense, but he helped me develop and I managed to move up to assistant manager. It was my first taste of the Premier League as a coach.

“I had 23 years as a player and staff member at Watford – I had only known how they did things there.

“But Reading gave me an opportunity after a year out from coaching, and I enjoyed fitting into a different setting. I always look out for their results.”