In-depth with Nigel AdkinsThere was plenty for manager Nigel Adkins to discuss after Saturday's hard-earned win over Ipswich, including our youngsters, the supporters, Sean Morrison, Michael Hector and much more besides. Read on for our latest 'Manager On Monday' round-up.
We had eight Academy players on the field of play, and 12 of our 18 came through here at Reading. Of the outfield players on the bench, only Ryan Edwards had ever played in the League and that was last week up at Wigan! We had youngsters in key positions - centre half, central midfield and so on.
Coops came on and won his headers, and I thought Michael Hector was outstanding at the back, as he has been in midfield. We lost Morro which can be disruptive, but everyone contributed.
Ryan Edwards came on and what a lift he gave the team with his energy, we needed it at that particular moment. Jack Stacey came on and had to mark their big left back, after Nick Blackman had a good game out there. The players manned up really well.
For me, the supporters were great. You could see they're going to give the players that little bit of scope to make mistakes, because we've got a young, honest, hard-working group. We want people to enjoy games here. You can always talk about quality but supporters want to see players have a really good go.
The players have worked ever so hard, especially with us losing Morro. Nobody saw that coming, he trained with us on Thursday and would have started the game. So we didn't envisage it, especially after getting him on a long term contract, but we've dealt with it in a positive manner. I didn't want to lose him, of course not, but it's the business of the transfer window, and everybody worked so hard to win the game. Hector was outstanding at centre back, Pearcey won his headers and Hope Akpan got his first 90 minutes in midfield as well.
You can see sometimes it's unnatural on his left foot but he's working ever so hard on that because it helps us get up the pitch. He's an excellent one-on-one defender, he's been outstanding, scored last week, cleared one off the line on Saturday and he's working hard to improve so credit to him.
Taylor and Edwards
In the past Jake and Ryan haven't been in the picture, but you know what, they work their socks off. They've got the right attitudes as well as talent, and I'd like to think they can flourish in this environment.
Everything's looking positive, I've met everyone involved. All being well, we've got stability and a long term plan. We're not just going to throw money at it, it would be wrong to think that will happen. The club's future is the most important thing. The long term picture of the football club is moving in the right direction, continuing the good work that's gone on over the years.
The first week
It's been excellent after a very good pre-season. When I did the press after the game I was speaking a bit faster than normal because we'd just won and I was on a high - but I'm mindful there's a long way to go so we never get too high. We all know we've got to look after the youngsters, but you could see that the supporters got right behind them without setting expectations too high.
We'll look at the group and their availability, we were in on Sunday, we had one or two knocks and maybe one or two more youngsters might be making their debuts! Saturday was a physical game, for example Pav worked relentlessly up front despite getting a dead leg. At the moment there's eight unavailable senior players to add to the group, when we get them we'll be healthy. None of them will be available for Huddersfield but we're looking forward to them coming back and we're excited for Tuesday's game.