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McCarthy & Drenthe

9 August 2013

Boss speaks on duo

Royals boss Nigel Adkins says Alex McCarthy won't be fazed in any way by his omission from the England squad.

Our 'keeper was on the provisional list, but was not one of the three stoppers selected as Norwich's John Ruddy got the nod following an injury.

Adkins told the local press, "You can look at it two different ways, it's good news he’s not in the England squad because he can stay and train with us! But obviously bad for Alex because he’s not in the England squad. On saying that he was on the provisional list, so he was still in their thoughts.

"The lads who are going to be representing America, Wales, Ireland – we won’t see them until Friday. So after the game against Bolton, they’ll disappear, and we won’t see them until the Friday. From my point of view, I’m lacking those players for a week’s preparation. That underlines then the importance of the squad, you’ve got for or five lads in the Jamaican set up and when they travel round the world….Danny Williams with America, he’s off to Sarajevo, he’s going to be travelling around there – they’ll get a game, they’ll be on flights in the early hours of the morning. It all contributes, we’ve got players that are away, potential injuries when you play in these games as well – so it all contributes. Don’t get me wrong, it’s great for them to represent their country, but my focus is on us here at Reading, we’ve got an opportunity that I want us to grasp to go back up again and we want all the players available to do that.

"For Alex, he’s got the attributes and it’s important he plays regularly. We’ve got good keepers here and the competition is strong, he’s better here playing than sitting on the bench. We all want to be in the Premier League and why can’t he do that with Reading?

"I don’t think Alex’s international career will suffer. Maybe people will say that you’re in the Championship, you’re not in the England set up, therefore you’ve got to get a move to be in the Premier League. I can see all those questions will come along but I don’t think that’s relevant at all. I think he’s better playing in the Championship than sat on the bench in the Premier League. It’s a friendly game the week before the Premier League kicks off."

The boss was also asked by Sky Sports News about Royston Drenthe's impressive debut against Ipswich last week, and backed the winger to keep putting in eye-catching performances.

He said, "Royston became available and we’re really pleased that the powers that be have got him to join our football club, and he’s come in, he’s trained every day since he joined pre-season and he’s a player that’s going to excite the supporters I’m sure.

"He's not played much as football as he could have done over the last couple of years but he’s here, he’s trained every day. His body fat has come down, he’s got fitter and fitter as he’s gone on and if we just keep him on that line through the course of the season, he’ll get stronger and stronger and he’s certainly a player that if you get him on the football, things are going to happen.

"We need to make sure we keep him available for all 46 games – starting or coming off the substitutes' bench and making the impact during the game. He’s still young, he’s 26, you’ve got to give players opportunities. We believe it’s a good culture here at Reading, it’s a good environment if you keep picking up the right habits.

"He’s come in, he’s knuckled down and I think it’s a good environment here, he’s realised what he’s got to do – how he’s got to react on the pitch, how he’s got to conduct himself off the pitch, how he’s got to make sure that he lives his lifestyle so that he can train to his maximum. All we can do is create the environment that we’ve got for him, he’s a talented, talented football player – I’d like to think at the moment we’ve had a good start."

Asked where Royston's best position is, the boss said, "On the ball! Not off the ball! Get him on the football. We played Swansea the week before, when he’s in possession of the ball he’s a great talent. But he’s got to think about the defensive side of the game as well, it’s fair to say, he can play in all of those attacking positions.

"Ideally we want to have that fluidity of movement where he can play in behind the striker – but likewise the wide players can come inside and he can come outside. The object is not being rigid in one formation, not tying him down into one specific position – it’s being fluid in our movement and ultimately getting him on the football, because that’s when he’s going to cause trouble. Whether he’s running at someone on the ball, whether he’s crossing, whether he’s laying that pass – and he’s got a thunderous shot on him as well."

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