Coppell retires after two games in Bristol City job

MANAGER Steve Coppell yesterday stunned Bristol City by resigning after just two games in charge – and announcing the end of his 26-year managerial career.

Coppell’s spell in charge at Ashton Gate lasted less than four months and his tenure got off to a bad start after his side lost 3-0 at home to Millwall on the opening day of the season, followed by a Carling Cup defeat to Southend on Tuesday.

The Robins confirmed assistant coach Keith Millen as Coppell’s successor after he signed a three-year deal with the Championship club.

The 55-year-old, who lasted only 33 days while in charge at Manchester City in 1996, stressed his decision was not taken lightly.

“I have made my decision after very careful consideration and I believe that it is in the best interests of both the club and me personally that we go our separate ways,” Coppell said in a statement.

“I am retiring from football management but still feel I have a contribution to make to the game some time in the future.”

Coppell managed six clubs after starting out at Crystal Palace in 1984. In 2006 he secured Reading’s promotion to the Premier League and led the Royals to an eighth-place finish in their first season in the top flight.

Chairman Steve Lansdown said: “It is disappointing for any club to part company with its manager at this stage of the season. However, we respect Steve’s decision.”