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Boss' confidence in Blackman

11 August 2013

Adkins happy with frontman

Manager Nigel Adkins gave Nick Blackman a start up front against Bolton, and saw the frontman reward him with an excellently-taken penalty for his first goal in Reading colours.

It was something of a baptism of fire for the striker - still only 23 - up against experienced centre halves David Wheater and Zat Knight. But the Mancunian responded with a coolly-taken spot kick that will do his confidence the world of good.

Adkins said, "He had a good pre-season, he was unavailable last weekend due to suspension and as always we look at the team we're playing against, I looked at their centre halves and wanted Nicholas to present a problem in one way.

"I knew he wouldn't be able to last the game because he's only had 60 minutes in pre-season and we had Alfie to come on and present their defenders a different problem. That was the game plan and Alfie had that one chance but the goalkeeper made a good save. I was thinking 'goal' because he scores all time!

"Nick has got an unbelievable penalty record, him, Alfie and Drenthe all want to take them and I decided in the hotel before the game. He's scored an excellent penalty. With the way we play I'd like to think we'll get referees making decisions in the box.

"It was his first Reading goal so hasn't he dealt with [that pressure penalty] really well? We've got confidence in him and that can only help his confidence grow. Hopefully he can make a good contribution in the season.

"We've got a good environment, it's positive and developmental. I'd like to think we can help everyone physically, technically, tactically and mentally. Everyone wants to play but it's not just about 11 players, you need 28 to 32 to achieve what we set out to do."

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