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Steve Clarke talks to Stan Collymore

31 December 2014

New boss on TALKsport

New boss Steve Clarke was live on TALKsport after our recent win against Norwich, and spoke to presenter Stan Collymore about life at Madejski Stadium.

We've got a transcript below, and you can also listen back to the interview by clicking here, then selecting 17:30-18:00 and moving to 17mins03sec.

Q: Steve, four points from the two games over the Christmas period, I'm sure beforehand you'd have taken that?
A: Yes I would have. The players have been great. I thought we were unlucky against Watford, then four from two games is a good return.

Q: When new managers come in, they always look to change things and improve things, what was first on the list for you coming in at Reading?
A: The first thing for me, I came in on the back of a 6-1, so the first thing was to tighten up, give them a few defensive principles, and just try to make them more difficult to beat. From there, I know we've got good players, I know we've got Championship goalscorers, so if we could tighten up, we had goals in the team. Although we've still conceded in each game which I'm not happy about!

Q: What targets do you set, because as we all know the Championship can see things change very quickly when you go on a run, like Reading did a few years ago.
A: When I came in, we spoke a little bit about the play-offs because you can put a run together. But we've moved closer to the teams below us, so for now it's about stabilising the club, getting the performances on the pitch and hopefully more wins week to week.

Q: I'm reading tweets from the official Reading FC account and from fans about Garath McCleary playing well for you.
A: He did very well. He picked up an injury the day before the Brighton game, and tried to put himself forward but we made a call on it. Then even for this game he put himself through the pain barrier for the team which is a nice message about sacrificing yourself.

Q: Must be nice, you've done the double over Norwich now.
A: Yes it's good, I told the players after the game, it's a measure of how good they can be, and maybe we should question why we're so far down the table. It's good to do the double over one of the teams that anyone would look at and say they should be in the top six, if not the top two, so it's good for the players' confidence.

Q: How good is it to be back out there managing?
A: It's great, 12 months out seemed such a long time. You know me, it's great to be back out there, picking teams, working with players, to be involved and I think I've got a good chance to do a good job here at Reading Football Club.

Q: Well we wish you all the best and it's good to see you back.
A: Thank you.

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