Nigel Adkins left his Thursday press conference in no doubt as to the importance of Saturday’s clash with Southampton – as he told the assembled media “we’ve got to win the game.”
The former Saints boss will manage the Royals at Madejski Stadium for the first time this weekend and is hoping to get off to the best possible start. Indeed he’ll be hoping to replicate history – after taking over at Scunthorpe, Adkins won his first two home games, whilst Southampton were undefeated in his first nine games in charge at St. Mary’s.
“We talk about the long term situation that we’ve got, the way I want to go and play, but first and foremost, the here and now – we’ve got to go and win the game on Saturday,” he said.
“We are where we are at this moment in time in the Barclays Premier League and we need to win. The next game is always the most important one, it’s the first home game for myself and Andy Crosby, and we’re really looking forward to the game.
“When we’ve played here before we know how vocal and passionate the Reading supporters are, they get right behind the players and it’s a good stadium the Madejski Stadium. The supporters, having known a lot of success last season, I know are going to get right behind the players and it’s a local game, a game that we’ve got to go and win and I’m sure the supporters are going to get right behind the players and give them every bit of energy, drive and support that we’re going to need.”
Clashes between these two teams have traditionally brought some excitement – and Reading’s boss is predicting another showcase for fans in attendance for the early kick off.
“These are two teams that finished first and second in the Championship last season – there were some good games between the two last year. With every opposition team, every player in the opposition is a threat. ‘Never underestimate your opponent’ - Sun Tzu, Art of War. That’s something we’ve always talked about.
“But our players will be be well versed on what will be required. We’ve got to be passionate about what we do. We’ve always preached about keeping possession of the football, but when the opposition have the ball you’ve got to put them under enough pressure so you can get the ball back off them. The players, I like to think, will be organised for the weekend.”
View the manager's full press conference
now on Reading FC Player. The online TV service will also be broadcasting full commentary of our clash with the Saints.