Stopper pleased with important victoryAdam Federici says Saturday’s win at Norwich was a reward for the number of hours that the squad and management have been putting in on the training ground.
The Australian goalkeeper made two important stops, tipping Kyle Lafferty’s powerful strike onto the crossbar and holding onto close-range Gary Hooper’s volley, as the Royals grounded out an important victory in Norfolk.
Hooper had put the Canaries ahead before Jake Cooper struck twice before half time to turn the game around. A resilient second-half performance then ensured that Reading recorded the points and Federici was thrilled that they were able to hold on.
“It was a tough day and a tough three points,” said the 29-year-old. “They’re a good side and they’ve just come down from the Premier League; their squad is quite big and full of talent right through it.
“It’s an important three points and a well-needed three points too. We defended really well, which is something we haven’t been doing. We concentrated on the defensive side in training and went from there. We always work hard on that anyway but this week it really paid off.”
The victory moved the Royals up to 14th in the Championship table. Federici is targeting higher, though, and hopes his teammates can discover some consistency.
He said: “We know what we are capable of. There is feeling amongst us that we have been playing below par, so we were definitely pleased with Norwich.
“We’ve got to get some consistency going. We are a good team and if we can defend like we did on Saturday then we’ll shoot straight up the league.
“We’re going to take one game at a time, and finding some consistency is something that we need to do. That starts with Bolton on Saturday and then we go from there.”
The stopper was also delighted for central defender Cooper, who made the most of his recall by bagging his first two goals in professional football.
“He’s a monster of a player,” Federici said. “He’s a good defender as well and I’m buzzing for him to come in and play so well. He’s a good lad and a big boy, so it’s good to have him in defence.
“He’s a funny guy and he works extremely hard on his game. It was good to see him get his chance on Saturday.”
By placing a cricket bat behind his goal, Federici paid tribute to Australian batsman Phillip Hughes, who sadly died last week after being struck on the head by a bouncer in a Sheffield Star match.
Read Adam’s thoughts on his tribute here.