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Adkins: Bolton test will be a tough one

4 December 2014

The gaffer looks ahead to Saturday

Nigel Adkins says his squad are well aware of the threats that rejuvenated Bolton will pose when they visit the Madejski Stadium on Saturday.

The Trotters, who sat bottom of the Championship when new manager Neil Lennon took over, have won five of their last eight games to move out of the second tier’s relegation zone.

But Adkins is confident that the Royals can make it back-to-back league wins for the third time this season, despite Wanderers’ upturn in form.  

“There’s a resurgence about them under the new manager,” the gaffer said. “Neil has come in, turned them around and they’re in good form. Having watched them and done our homework on them, we know it’s going to be a competitive game.

“Bolton’s position was surprising under the previous manager. Having been established in the Premier League for several years, they’ve had to experience the turnaround of being relegated and not getting back up again.

“Financially, it definitely takes its toll and there are a lot of clubs in this division that would demonstrate that. They’ve got a big squad of players; experienced ones at this level and a manager who has come in and revitalised them with a good series of results.

“They play with the one central striker [Craig Davies] and that’s him. He’s a big unit that they can get the ball to and have runners coming off him.

“They’re a very hard working team now, who are having a go for each other. We know the game is going to be competitive, and a good game for everyone to come and watch.

“I know that all of the Reading supporters coming down are going to get right behind us. We’re on the back of the victory we had Norwich and we go into Saturday with a bit more confidence now.”

Saturday’s win in Norfolk was secured by Jake Cooper’s two powerful, first-half headers.

Adkins hopes that more youngsters can follow in the footsteps of many current first-team players, like Cooper has done himself, in making an impact in the senior side.

The Royals boss said: “It’s very exciting for everyone when you can bring a player through the academy system. So many people have a massive role to play early in that player’s career.

“We really value their importance and input in helping them progress into the first team, establishing themselves and being successful – there’s no greater feeling for a coach.

“You want the local guys to come through and do well, and it’s something I have done at every club I’ve been at. We pride ourselves on it here. We have got a very good academy.

“We want there to be a pathway and for them to come through. If we can, we’re going to give them every opportunity to do that. Jake has come in and done ever so well, as have several of the players here.

“Look at last year, with Jordan Obita and Jake Taylor – two players that have been here since the age of eight.

“You can look all over the world for different players - that is the nature of football now, but it’s great to have players that are right on your doorstep too, ones that have a real feel for the football club.”

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