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Boss aims for Wembley

14 February 2014

Adkins looks to QPR clash

Manager Nigel Adkins spoke at length to the TV cameras ahead of Sunday's live Sky Sports game away to QPR, discussing our trip to Loftus Road, Alex Pearce, Adam Le Fondre, the play-offs and much more.

Read on for the very latest from the boss.

First of all, Alex Pearce's red card being rescinded is good news.
Yes. We could have done with him being on the pitch on Saturday mind you, going down to ten men after 8 minutes doesn't make the game easy. We went a goal down as well, I think it was a penalty but it shouldn't have been a red card and fair play to the FA, they've looked at it. I've got the utmost respect for the referees, they make the right decision they feel at that moment in time, but the right of appeal was there and thankfully they've overturned it so he's available if selected.

You played 80 minutes with ten men, do you think you might look back at it and say it's costly?
Well we've been in a good vein of form, scoring goals and high on confidence. We started the game well and could have been 2-0 up early on. But we conceded, I still thought we were the better team in the first half. We played a long time with ten men, unfortunately we didn't get the rub of the green. Over any season, there's lots of times you look back and think it could have been different. But you look forward to the next game, QPR, 16 games to go, and all being well the play-offs and a trip to Wembley.

In that situation would you like the referee to be able to have a quick review so he's clear in his mind?
We've got good referees, Keith Hill in this case is an excellent referee and makes what he believes is the right decision. We had the beauty of an appeal, it's the ref's decision, and if you start questioning every single thing then it makes it more challenging. With winning the appeal we've not got the full triple whammy of conceding a goal, red card and then a suspension as well.

Big game coming up at QPR, how important is it to have Alex available?
It's six or seven games we've had the same team, which has been important. We've had injuries since back in September, but we've had a good run since the turn of the year, scoring a lot of goals. At the other end Alex and Kaspars have been in good form, Morrison has been out for three months and we've also got Michael Hector who is available. He's come on and done well, and we've every confidence in playing Michael if required.

The run of form you've had, is it down to consistency of selection, or do you just think every team has a blip and yours is done now?
Well to honest we played some good stuff over Christmas, but we didn't win. It's about winning and scoring. There's different ways to do it, everyone is together, we've got a great spirit which is evident on the pitch. There's a third of the season to go, games every three days and a group all pulling for each other. We're looking forward to it.

You mentioned Wembley, is that where you're looking now? Do you feel you can still make the top two?
Well going into Sheff Wed, if we'd won we could have gone six points behind QPR with them to play next. We were right in the mix, but we didn't win the game. So we look to the next game now, and we know from experience there'll still be twists and turns. The closer that winning line gets, the harder it becomes. We'll enjoy the rest of the season, we've had many challenges as a club and we're in the mix.

QPR also came down last season, how much pressure is on for teams to go straight back up?
There's pressure on everybody. QPR have an excellent manager, good staff, good players, and we believe we've got good players too. We all want to get back to the Premier League, the first time is the best time to go back but if you look in this division there's lots of teams who've been up and are desperate to go back. Fair play to Leicester, they're in the box seat, Burnley have been very consistent and Derby have put a run together. QPR, Forest, all in the mix and so are we. It's going to be exciting.

You've talked before about the ownership of the club, do things feel settled now that the transfer window has closed?
Well, Anton Zingarevich brought me in after the shock departure of Brian, who's now doing a great job up at Leeds. I love being Reading manager, and the board, the Zingarevich family and Sir John Madejski all want what's best for Reading Football Club. Things have to be run right in terms of finances, we as staff and players just get on with it. We didn't do any business in January, limited business the window before, but importantly we didn't lose players. We have a spirit, and this is us. From top to bottom, everyone wants the best for Reading.

On deadline day was there ever a danger Adam Le Fondre could go?
I think it was pretty evident he wasn't going anywhere. It was a very, very late phone call of interest, I don't think there was an official bid made to be perfectly honest. Adam is with us, we're really pleased, he's in good form, got a great partnership with big Pav. We're all working hard, 16 games to go plus hopefully the play-offs after that.

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