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Adkins: Togetherness shown

11 January 2014

Boss speaks on win at Watford

Manager Nigel Adkins was delighted with the bond his players showed as they took a 1-0 away win at Watford.

The Royals got back to winning ways at Vicarage Road, starting on the front foot and scoring early through Kaspars Gorkss.

We played well, especially in the first half, and moved up to seventh in the table, one point off the play-offs.

Adkins said, "I was pleased because it demonstrated the togetherness, especially after the disappointing run we've been on. 

"I thought the lads were top drawer. We started the game brightly, we were on the front foot and got three or four crosses in in the first couple of minutes.

"It was a great goal from Kaspars from a set play, which was important. We dominated the first half with good possession in good areas.

"Second half we showed togetherness and resilience to grind out a result with good defending.

"The togetherness of everybody was clear. The support from the supporters was superb, and it's been a very enjoyable day."

Asked to pinpoint the key aspect of our win, he said, "Hard work. That started from the front, Pav and Alfie worked so hard against a team who like to play from the back. 

"Jobi led the team ever so well as captain. Danny and Hopey in the middle with McCleary out wide.

"Kaspars and Pearcey with a clean sheet at centre half, Chrissy Gunter and young Jordan at full back. Then McCarthy, potentially the next England goalkeeper, he was so commanding. As a team, everyone worked so hard."

Adkins was rightly quizzed about Jordan Obita, who was fantastic at left back, especially considering it was his first ever start there and he is only 20 years old.

The boss said, "He was exceptional, and we've signed him on a long term contract, we have faith in him.

"He came off with a little bit of cramp, as did Hope on his first League start. He put in a right shift with Danny Williams in the middle of the park. Then Jake Taylor came on because we trust him to work hard and grind the game out."

Danny Guthrie missed the game through injury, and Nigel commented, "He has a calf injury, the heavy ground at Brighton took its toll a little bit. But it gives others an opportunity. 

"[Because of the red card challenge] Nick Blackman didn't take part in the warm-down on the pitch after the game, he had a lot of ice on it in the dressing room.

"We've added to the injury list we've got, but look at it, when we get them back it'll be fantastic. It's a demanding season and let's look forward to the second half of it.

"We're not where we wanted to be in the League, we've talked about that, but you could see the character and desire to do well for each other. 

"We know with all that, we've got a great chance of really enjoying the rest of the season."

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