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Targetting clean sheets

23 August 2013

Royals boss looks to tighten in defence

Nigel Adkins has emphasised the importance of keeping clean sheets, ahead of the Royals trip to Blackpool on Saturday afternoon.

Although his side have exhibited some superb attacking football in their opening three Sky Bet Championship fixtures, the manager has said he is determined not to neglect defensive duties. 

"I talked to the players, we had a debrief on Monday, and we highlighted that we’re conceding too many goals," said Adkins.

"I’ve said we’ve targeted 21 clean sheets, players are well aware of that. We need to score at one and end and keep them out at the other - defend and attack as a team. Like with everything, we need to improve on all aspects of our play. If we want to play an expansive game, we’ve got to be good in possession of the football – that’s something we’ll forever keep working on. But then if you want to play that way, players need to be in good supporting positions and good defensive positions too. The cover in front of the back for is important. For one of Watford's goals at the weekend, our player believes he’s marking him but he’s marking him the wrong side. The starting position needed to be better – it’s the small detail, the difference between winning leagues and not getting promoted."

That aside, Reading's boss believes his side are exhibiting a positive mind set heading to Bloomfield Road.

"We’re going up there full of confidence, we are expecting a very challenging fixture as Blackpool have got off to a good start in the campaign. They are a very good side, but Blackpool will be expecting a tough game as we’re undefeated as well – and on another day could have a few more points on the board already."

Access pre match videos, live commentary and full highlights from Saturday's game on Reading FC Player. 


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