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Ready for the challenge

30 March 2013

Adkins looks to the Emirates

Nigel Adkins believes his Royals side shouldn’t be afraid of taking on Arsene Wenger’s Champions League chasing Arsenal on Saturday afternoon.

Reading have lost all eleven previous clashes with the Gunners, but that isn’t deterring the manager from rallying his troops ahead of a trip to the Emirates.

“They’re a team that’s challenging for the top echelons at the pinnacle of English football,” he said.

“We’ve got to go and believe in what we’re going to go and do, be mindful that they’re a great side but have the mentality to win. That doesn’t mean we’re going to go gung-ho, be totally wide open and let them have loads of space to go and play in. With the quality of the players they’ve got – they’re going to cause you lots of problems of course. But we have to give ourselves an opportunity to play good football but importantly give us a chance to win the game.

“I saw Reading against Arsenal at Madejski Stadium earlier this season. You could see the hard work, togetherness – the guys were fantastic at getting the ball forward, getting the ball wide and scoring goals. They were 4-0 up at one stage - so there’s a belief that we can go and score goals there. I like to think you grow into the division and learn lessons. Make mistakes but make new mistakes, don’t keep making the same mistakes all the time.”

Adkins also acknowledged that perhaps, at times this season, lady luck has deserted his new side – and hopes that a change of fortunes might also benefit his charges.

“Watching Reading this season, I’ve seen some of the refereeing decisions that have gone against them that shouldn’t have. You like to think for the rest of the season we might get one or two things that will start going our way. It’s small margins that come into play.”

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