Reading manager Nigel Adkins was introduced to the media by owner Anton Zingarevich this morning and the newly-appointed boss spoke excitedly about the desire and belief that Premier League survival is possible, the spirit at Reading that has the potential to make that possibility a reality, and the collective fight we will need to succeed in the next eight games.
'We’ve got to believe'
“Do we dare to dream about getting the amount of points we need to accumulate to stay up? We’ve got to. We’ve got to believe we’re going to do it. Of course we’ve talked about it in the discussions and I’ve joined Reading Football Club. I want to be in the Premier League. We’ve got to have a belief and a desire. We’ll take one game at a time and make sure this football club stays in the Premier League. That’s what I’ve come here to do.
“It’s a great challenge we’ve got. We’re in the Premier League and we’ve got to make sure we remain in the Premier League. We’re going to relish the challenge that we’re now faced with. We look to the future. We look forward with positivity. And I’m really pleased and privileged to be Reading manager.”
'A good club'
“This is a good football club, first and foremost. I was impressed when I met the owner, I was impressed when I met Nick. I have met Sir John over the years and I’ve always known Reading as a very, very good football club. There’s stability here, there’s a future looking forward and I’m excited to be here. Reading were the champions of the Championship last season and now we’re in the Premier League and we’re in there fighting.
'Spirit can take you a long way'
“The players here have got a good spirit amongst themselves, they always have done. We’ll be going down to the training ground after this press conference and I’m looking forward to getting amongst the players, meeting them all. I know there’s a good spirit here. It’s a football club with a good character about it, with good players who work very hard for each other.
“We’ve got spirit and there’s a camaraderie amongst the players…that’s invaluable, especially in the latter stages of the season. It can take you a hell of a long way, as was demonstrated with Reading last season with the run they went on to take them up. You can’t change everything overnight, but this group of players have unbelievable spirit, you can’t take that away.”
'We’re going to give it everything we’ve got!'
“We’re going to scrap. We’re going to give it everything we’ve got. People might talk about next season, let’s talk about the here and now. We’ve sampled the Premier League – this is where we want to be, it’s a great place to be. One of the main reasons I have come to Reading is that I want to be in the Premier League, I’m sure everybody does. The supporters do. They’ve seen this club work so hard to get here last season – to come back from losing out in the play-offs and achieve what they did was remarkable. And we’re not going to just throw that away, we’re going to keep building the great foundations that have been laid here.
'We pull together'
“We’ve got to be united as a football club. That is very important. The supporters want to see the team winning; they’ve been used to winning over the last couple of seasons. It’s a tough league the Premier League, so maybe they’ve not seen as many wins as they’ve been used to over the last couple of seasons. But I know all the supporters of Reading love being in the Premier League. And they’re going to love the remaining eight games.
“Everyone’s got to be together, get behind the players, get behind the owner, get behind the club, we’ve all got to pull in the same direction to give us every opportunity. It is a tough ask, we’re not going to hide away from that. But it’s amazing what can be achieved when everyone pulls together.”