Adkins on window dealsSpeaking to the press this week, manager Nigel Adkins has reflected on the Royals' summer transfer moves, and is looking forward to striving for success.
He said, "I’ve got the same feelings as many supporters of Reading Football Club, likewise the people who own and manage the club.
"We believe we’ve got a strong squad of players, I wanted to bring more players in and there’s been an effort to do that. There were one or two players we thought we were going to bring in, but that didn’t materialise. Things were still going on until the last minute.
"Since the deadline I’ve had a couple of days now to go and reflect. Now I'm not glossing over anything, the facts are that we haven’t brought in more than three players that we did at the start of the window. Now we have got another 18 games until the next transfer window comes around. We’ve got to stay in the mix and our objective doesn’t change – I want to win this division, I want us to get promoted and get this football club, which is a great football club, back in the Premier League.
"The cards we’ve got at the moment, we’ve got to play as best as we can – and that means making sure we’ve got a spirit amongst the players and that we get the best out of the players that we’ve got and we support them. That’s my responsibility as a manager, we’ve got to keep a steady ship about what we’re doing.
"I highlighted before that we want to score 100 goals, now at this moment in time I don’t think we haven’t got enough goals in the team to reach that target. So we’ve got to make sure that we address that situation with what we’ve got and see how we can achieve that, and likewise we want to keep 21 clean sheets. So defensively we’ve got to be stronger than we are at this moment in time.
"We share the supporters’ feelings because for me I want us to score goals. To do that we need another striker or two for the group. As it stands, that has not materialised. We can talk about loads of different ways, finances have got to be right at a football club - as a manager you want to be getting players in but you also have to understand sometimes that the books have to be balanced in the right manner at certain times. Anyone can be frustrated but that’s when it comes down to the board of directors to manage a football club in a certain way.
"I know that this football club has a strong, strong desire to be successful and to be successful this season. Everyone’s working in the same direction and everyone understands the position in which we want to strengthen – finances to make sure we’re able to do what we want to do. I suppose it’s one supporters always ask about – but I know that the club are doing what they believe is right."
The boss confirmed that a number of clubs made calls to us about buying our players over and above the departures of Kebe and Mariappa, but we rejected their advances.
He said, "We’ve got an excellent group of players, because of that other clubs showed interest in our players and there were a lot of conversations going on. Mapps going was right, but for others the club rightly decided it wasn’t right.
"We are a club that has come down from the Premier League, and with that finances dictate things as well. In terms of players coming in we wanted to do business before the window, permanent business. A lot of things go last minute and maybe players have gone to other clubs instead of coming here. As I said I’m not glossing over anything, let’s make that perfectly clear.
"The powers that be will do what they’ve got to do because they share that common goal as well, believe you me. You talk about the board of directors, you’ve got Sir John Madejski who built this football club up over the last 23 years. I know how ambitious he is to keep make sure it keeps going forward. I know when I first spoke to the owner during the interview process when I joined, he’s got massive ambition for the football club to get back to the Premier League, and that’s what my ambitions are."
Reflecting on our start to the season, Nigel said, "For me, we should have won five games out of five, so I’m disappointed that we haven’t gone and done that but what we’ve got to do is take one game at a time and make sure we stay in the race and go on to win it.
"Obviously it was pleasing that we got our first clean sheet of the season last weekend in what was a very poor game against Yeovil. But we got our clean sheet and got three points. We have an opportunity to reflect in the cold light of day now – my goals don’t change and my stats don’t change. I know what we want, I want to win this division. We have got some excellent players at this football club and again, players that would be desirable for other teams to get – we’ve kept."
Asked about the emergency loan window he said, "We want to make sure there’s a pathway there for the youngsters – you don’t just want to get a young player from somewhere else – so I’m very strong on that. We want any players that we bring in to be ahead of international standard, or tried and tested, does what it says on the tin, in the Championship because we’ve got to get ourselves up. We’re trying to build in every window instead of having a mass clear-out or a mass influx of players.
"Our objective is to get promoted and we’re not going to lose sight of that. We might have to address one or two things at the moment. Before a ball was kicked, the objective was to win the division. The first objective was to get through pre-season with everyone fit and available for selection and to get off to a good start. We won our first game which was a positive, and then I said we weren’t going to look at the league table, it was about making sure you stay in the race until January and that doesn’t change.
"Come January, the next window will open up and there will be another opportunity to get ourselves in a position to go and win the race. There are a lot more games in the last couple of months of the season – it’s March and April where the fixtures are really busy. Listen I ain’t hiding away from the fact that I wanted to bring more players in, we haven’t done it and that’s the fact, but we're united. As Lincoln said, 'A house that is divided amongst itself cannot stand.'"