Steve Coppell has resigned as manager of Reading in the wake of the club's 2-0 defeat at home to Burnley in the second leg of the Championship play-offs on Tuesday night.
The Royals were looking to make an immediate return to the Premier League following their relegation last season and had made a superb start to the campaign only to see their form fall away in the final three months of the season.
Second-half goals from Martin Paterson and Steven Thompson at the Madejski Stadium ended the Royals hopes and instead ensured Burnley will play Sheffield United at Wembley for a place in the Premier League.
Coppell had initially refused to comment on his future in the post-match press conference but just a few hours later the 53-year-old confirmed his departure in a statement on Reading's official website.
"Following our exit from the play-offs, I feel it's the best thing, for both the club and myself, for me to leave," he said.
"I have thoroughly enjoyed my time as Reading manager and would like to thank everyone connected to the club for the support I have received."
Coppell took charge of Reading in 2003 and guided them to promotion to the Premier League three years later.
"I am very disappointed to confirm that Steve has decided to step aside as our manager, but I respect his wishes," added Royals chairman Sir John Madejski.
"I would like to thank Steve sincerely for everything he has done for Reading over the last five and a half years, which has been the most successful period in the Club's history."
Madejski and Coppell will hold a joint press conference at 11am this morning at Madejski Stadium.
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