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Kelly: We have the belief

4 March 2013

"It's still in our hands"

Defender Stephen Kelly says our fate this season is still very much in our own hands despite Saturday's tough defeat at Everton.

A spirited Royals performance at Goodison Park didn't reap its rewards, despite hitting the crossbar in the first half and having a very strong shout for a penalty turned down in the second.

Following the match on Merseyside, Kelly said: "It was very frustrating. Up until they scored I felt we were in the game - we hit the bar and had chances. In the second half, Pienaar came in and smashed one in from 25 yards with his left foot. You don't see that very often so it's a bit of a kick in the teeth.

"And then we were chasing the game at 2-0 down, trying to go for it which made us a bit more open. It's frustrating for us because I think we've been doing well, passing it well and creating chances. We just need that bit of luck to come our way.

"If we had got to 2-1 then the emphasis is on us and we're pushing for the game. That (penalty) would have given us the lift we needed to get at them and realise we're still in it. Even when we were 3-0 down we got at them and got a goal and then were still pushing for another one.

"Decisions like that not going our way are obviously disappointing - if that gets given then you don't know what could have happened. As a team we just need to stick together, brush ourselves off because it's still really close down there."

As for the rest of this Barclays Premier League campaign, Kelly believes we have total control over our destiny - backed up by a genuine feeling of belief amongst the camp.

"With what's left of the season and what's at stake you understand why there is such emphasis placed on these games. It's all to play for - there's ten games left and it's up for grabs to stay in this league. Against Aston Villa we've got to make sure that we win that home game," Stephen added.

"All we can do is concentrate on ourselves - you can't be hoping on results elsewhere, we just need to do the best we can, perform to the highest level, pick up as many points between now and the end of the season and hopefully that will be enough to stay up.

"The togetherness we have here is going to be vital between now and the end of the season. When I signed here we were six or seven points off safety and now there's only one point. We just need to keep momentum going and make sure that between now and the end of the season we know it's us and them and we know we need to win more games than them.

"It means just as much to us as it does to the fans - we want to give something back to them. We're passionate about this club - everyone is and everyone wants to do well. We'll be looking to go out next week and put things right.

"Everyone wants to play in the Premier League - it's the pinnacle of football. It's still in our own hands to a certain degree and we need to make sure it stays like that. We still have a lot of belief."

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