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Harte: Let's keep this going

7 February 2013

Left back previews Stoke trip

Defender Ian Harte wants the Royals to strike while the iron is hot - and maintain the solid run form the side has produced of late.

The experienced full back knows that Stoke City will be a difficult assignment having only lost once all season at home, but believes the side have turned a corner and are capable of returning from Staffordshire with the right result.

"Of course, we know it's going to be a physical and difficult game," said Hartey. "We just need to look at our form and just keep it going. Hopefully the lads that have been away on international duty come back injury-free and we can get three points.

"They lost quite recently against Chelsea but we know what they're all about. Tony Pulis has got them well organised but we'll have to go there and stick to what we've been doing over the last few games. If we can do that, hopefully we can come away with the right result.

"We didn't have the best of starts this season but we're starting to turn that around now. Our shape has been really good throughout the side - especially with Jobi and Jimmy on the wings and both Pav and Alfie have been fantastic. In every game that we play now until the end of the season we've just got to go out and give 100%.

"The main thing is that we're winning games - and we had a fantastic result against Sunderland. Of course, I was delighted to have put in a good cross - I was just surprised to see Jimmy on the end of it! Normally you see Pearcey or someone else get their head to it."

Harte also had a positive word for the new arrivals at Madejski Stadium - and says all four of them have settled in superbly.

"Stephen has done brilliantly since he's come in - I know him well from the Irish team. With Akpan it's amazing what happens in football - one minute he's playing against us for Crawley and the next he's playing away at Newcastle in front of over 50,000 people. All the new lads have integrated well and are playing their part."

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