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Cummins: The right mix

9 October 2012

U21s blend youth with experience

Development coach Chris Cummins was delighted with what his under 21s side accomplished against a strong Arsenal team.

As the u21s rules allow, the Royals included three overage outfield players in Jason Roberts, Adam Le Fondre and Danny Guthrie - and one overage goalkeeper in Stuart Taylor - to face the international might of the Gunners.

Cummins was pleased with the experience the young players took out of playing alongside the senior pros and believes it's vital to integrate the youngsters this way.

"It was fantastic for the likes of Lawson D'Ath and Aaron Tshibola to play alongside Roberts, Le Fondre and Guthrie," he said. "They are great players at this club to look up to.

"It was a really good mix of youth and experience. Roberts got a big 75 minutes out of game which is great for his fitness and another positive for the club.

"Arsenal had a few senior pros out there too and that's how it should be done - having the youngsters learn from the experienced players.

"It's easy to forget that Morro is still under 21! He's a top lad and he was great with Niall Keown at the back leading by example. He's going to be a big player for the future."

As for the game itself, Reading were unfortunate not to get on the scoresheet - but Cummins believes his players will put the experience to good use looking ahead to next Monday's trip to Bolton.

"We didn't create enough chances in the first half and gave away a poor goal. In the second half, we had four really good chances so we're disappointed one hasn't gone in.

"At any level you have to take your chances - but the good thing is that we're creating them. We're getting in the right areas and another night they will go in.

"We're now looking ahead to next Monday for the rearranged game at Bolton. It'll be a very young squad next week and it will be interested to see if they can take the experience against Arsenal into the game.

"The key thing I'm looking for is for them to come out of their shells on the pitch and show more personality. Nick Arnold's done that for us all season - he's been great for us and I'm hoping he can lead the pack as well as some of other boys."

A full video interview with Chris is online now on Reading FC Player - click here to watch it during our free trial of the channel!

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