Boss to use youngsters
Manager Nigel Adkins has had a number of young players training with the first team this week, in preparation for Saturday's challenge match with Oman.
The boss spoke to the press this week about which youngsters could be involved, and he mentioned strikers Gozie Ugwu [pictured] and Dominic Samuel, midfielders Jake Taylor, Lawson D'Ath, Aaron Tshibola and Jordan Obita, plus defenders Shane Griffin and Matt Partridge.
The youngsters will supplement a strong first team group including Royston Drenthe, Adam Le Fondre, Danny Williams, Alex McCarthy et al.
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The boss said, "We’ve had the first team and the under 21s training together this week – it’s a great opportunity for them to integrate. We do a lot of that anyway but especially that’s the focus now ahead of this weekend.
"We’ve got several players away on international duty but we’re playing an international team at Madejski, we’ve played the last two games away from home and obviously we’re not at home in the league until next Sunday so it’s a great opportunity for us to have a fixture.
"We can give some players some valuable game time and give some youngsters an opportunity. The lads are working hard on the training ground, trying out different things but working on things we’re good at as well. We’ve got to be as focused and as creative as possible to make sure we achieve what we set out to achieve this season."
We take on an Oman side managed by Paul Le Guen, and the boss continued, "It’s a great game at the weekend – there are no points at stake, so there’ll be a bit more freedom about what we do and hopefully we can express ourselves in the right manner and the supporters can enjoy a good afternoon’s entertainment in a fantastic stadium with like-minded people who only want the best for Reading Football Club.
"It’s going to be a good test all round, it’s going to be a good game, we played Yeovil last weekend, the third of three away games – we’re now playing on home soil. We talked about the importance of winning our home games this season so it gives us an opportunity to get back to familiar surroundings again.
"Like I say it’s been exciting, we’ve had young players in with the first team squad this week. All the full backs are away, maybe young Griffin might play left back without too much expectation on him. Jordan could play left back, an attack-minded full back which is what we want.
"Goz and Dom are forwards, we’ve got Jake Taylor, Lawson, Tshibola, young Matt Partridge from a centre back point of view, several mentioned who’ve been involved and opportunities might arise sooner than you think."
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