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'We are here to win'

19 June 2013

Andy looks to new season

Assistant manager Andy Crosby has been speaking to local press about the new campaign, and says the Royals will find a way to win while trying to stick to principles of a passing style of football.

Can you get out of the Championship playing nice football, is that the aim?
We’ve done it once before. If you’ve got a philosophy I think it’s important you stick to it. It won’t always work, the opposition won’t always let it happen, so you’ve got to find a different way. One of Nigel’s favourite quotes is ‘We’re here to win’ and although we have got a way we want to play, it’s important that you can change things and find a way to win. Everyone says about going away from home on a Tuesday night in the Championship and perhaps getting battered for 89 minutes but scoring in the last minute, you need those days. If you can collect 90 plus points, you need those days as well. It won’t always be pretty, but we’re going to try to find a way to win.

Everyone says that the Premier League is a great place to be, it’s not always great if you’re losing every week. But hopefully next year we’ll see the other side of Reading again.
Yes, I think it’s a vast step up from the Championship and the quality of the individual players is far superior to the Championship. I’m sure if you speak to the players individually, they’ll have learned a lot of lessons from this season as well – it was the first time for quite a few of them playing in the Premier League, and hopefully when we bounce back next year they’ll be better prepared for it.

You’ll be one of the favourites I imagine. Will that bring a bit of extra pressure for you? 
I think a lot of it is what goes on between your ears. People put expectations these on you, you’re famous for this or not famous for that, I think if you can control your preparation, control the work you’ve done throughout the week, and you’re ready to start the game in a positive mindset and you can perform, results tend to take care of themselves. People might say we’re favourites, but so what? There are shocks every week in every division. It’s important that we are positive, prepared and mentally ready to go for a 46-game period where there will be highs and there’ll be lows, and there will be weeks with people groaning and weeks when we’ve played well, but listen, when you get to that last game and you’ve got more points than anyone else, you can say we’re going back to the Premier League.

What did you gain from your playing days?
A lot of experience at different levels of football. As I say, most of my career was spent lower down with the ability I had. But I think trying to get the best out of yourself is key to whatever level you play at. Some people are blessed with ability but don’t work as hard as they should do. I think if you can marry the two things up, then you’ve got a top player. And any bits of advice that I’ve learned over the years, it’s important that I can pass them onto the players.

Inevitably there are going to be changes over the summer, there are with every club aren’t there. Are you guys starting to get along in that process now?
That process has been ongoing since the day we came in. There are people that we spoke about and that we’ll try to bring in, and I’m sure that will develop throughout the summer. The lads in the dressing room now are a good group and they know what it takes to have success in the Championship. So whoever comes in now needs to complement that.

What do you think you’ve learned from your year in the Premier League. What’s the biggest thing you can take from the whole experience?
I think it’s a ruthless league. Some of the top teams have got top individuals who can change a game in a second. And I think you can’t always be chasing the ball, you need to have spells when you’ve got the ball. And having the ball is as good sometimes as getting yourself up there and getting a cross or a shot on goal. You need to control games to minimise the effect of the other team. There are a million things we will have learned from it. It’s obviously been our first experience of the Premier League as well. So by the end of next season, when we’ve hopefully got enough points, we can say ‘we can use all the things we learned this year to our advantage.'

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