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Mapps: Finish on a high

16 May 2013

Defender positive about the future

Adrian Mariappa is keen for the Royals to finish this 2012/13 Barclays Premier League campaign on a high as we travel to West Ham United on Sunday.

There has been a steady improvement since the arrival of new manager Nigel Adkins despite Tuesday night's defeat to Manchester City, and Mapps is confident about the strength of the squad for next season.

"It was a difficult game obviously they've got a lot of quality in their team," said Marriapa. "We're disappointed with the goals we conceded - I felt we put them under a lot of pressure in the second half, maybe we could have nicked a goal and that would have changed things, but it wasn't to be. 

"But we can take the positives out of it, and move forwards to the next game and the next season. 

"The more you play with people, the better relationships and understanding you have with them. But there's lots of competition for places and I wouldn't say that anyone has a position nailed down.

"Obviously you want to keep your best players at the club, and we've got a lot of good players here. We want to keep everyone together so we can have a strong season next year and hopefully bounce back - that will be the aim."

Mapps, who spent six solid years in the Championship with Watford, believes the quality of the second tier of English football is improving year on year - and is relishing the challenge ahead. 

The centre back is also looking forward to three World Cup 2014 qualifiers with Jamaica against Mexico, USA and Honduras, and says his international summer exploits will bode well going into pre-season.

"The Championship can be a relentless league - it's all about recovering and preparing for the next game. There are some very good sides in there and I feel like the quality is improving every year. Next year will be a very tough year, but we'll be ready. 

"I signed a three year contract, I'm looking forward to next season but looking to finish this season well first and foremost. I've got three World Cup qualifiers with Jamaica - they will three tough games. That will keep me fit over the summer until coming straight back into pre-season, so I'll be ready to kick on."

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