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Fresh impetus about Royals, says Pearce

22 December 2014

Defender confident of turnaround

Alex Pearce says there were a number of positives to be taken from Saturday’s 1-0 defeat to Watford at the Madejski Stadium.

Reading dominated the game for long spells, especially after the visitors were reduced to 10 men on the stroke of half-time, but could not break the resilient Hornets down.

Having begun to pile on the pressure after the break, Almen Abdi concluded a rare Watford counter attack by firing into corner to ensure that Steve Clarke’s first match in charge ended in defeat.

And, although the game yielded no points, Pearce believes that everyone at the club is now looking to move forward. 

He said: “Result wise, it was obviously very disappointing but there can be a lot of positives taken from Saturday; the way we played and how solid we were looking throughout the game.

“They [Watford] are going to be a side that are almost, in my opinion, guaranteed to be in the play-offs, if not go up automatically. We need to stay positive but result wise we were disappointed.

“We all like winning and against 10 men, or 11 men, I thought we were the better team. Second half we were going forward and they caught us out and won the game.

“Certainly after the result last week the aim was to become solid and hard to beat. I think everyone will agree that we were, against a side that will definitely be up there at the end of the season.”

Next up for the Royals is a trip to relegation-threatened Brighton on Boxing Day, and Pearce says that new manager Clarke has injected a fresh impetus and confidence into the squad.

“Look at what he has got to offer,” said the centre-back. “His CV speaks for itself and look at the people that he has worked with; some magnificent football people. Whatever he has to say, everyone here can learn from him and his experiences. He’ll be
the one to drive us all forward.

“He’s a man of vast experience and has worked at the top for the last 10 years. I want to take on board everything that he has to say because we can all learn a lot from him. I’m sure he’ll help us in the long term as a club.

“Saturday was a slight setback. We’d had a couple of really good days on the training pitch and we could have won the game with the amount of chances we had. Watford caught us with a suckerpunch.

“Going down to 10 men may have helped them in a weird way. We’ll put this to bed and on Monday start preparing poor Brighton. We’ll have a good week on the training pitch and we’ll go to Brighton in good spirits.

“You can’t enjoy Christmas if you’re a footballer, that’s for sure. You’ve got to be thinking about the game, you try to enjoy it as much as you can with your family, but all the while you’re training and focusing.”

Clarke elected to name Pearce as his captain on Saturday, and the academy graduate was proud to lead the club out.

He said: “It was only an hour or so before the game that I was told, so I couldn’t let it sink in too much because I was getting my mind ready for the game. It was very pleasing to lead the club out; I’ve been here since I was 12 years old.”

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