Blackman and McAnuff could return
The 21-year-old centre back arrived back at Hogwood Park this week from a highly successful loan spell at Aberdeen, and will be part of our group for the trip to Vicarage Road.
"Michael is back with us now, which is good. He needs to be playing regularly, so it would be no good if he came back from a period and was just sat on the bench or in the stand. Youngsters need to be playing," said Adkins.
"We’ve had two centre halves in Pearcey and Kaspars, with Morrison being out injured, then knowing we can play a full back in that position, while we’ve had Sweeney and Keown on the bench recently. It’s only fair we bring Michael back to have a good look at him, and he’ll be involved at the weekend.
"Who knows what will materialise from there? He’s done well on the training ground this week and we’ll see what develops. He’s very comfortable on the ball, he’s athletic, he has stature. He’s got to be playing regularly, the defensive side of his game he’s got to improve on, but he is very comfortable on the ball which is important. I spoke to him the day he came back, I said to him you’re back with us, work hard and obviously you need to be playing. You’re back here for a couple of weeks, let’s see what materialises. It’s as open as that. He’s got a chance of staying here, a chance of going to Aberdeen, everything is open. That’s the whole idea. We’re conscious of him and his development, we want to do right by him. But we’re also conscious of our club and he’s our player."
Reading will also be boosted by the news that Jobi McAnuff (foot) and Nick Blackman (back) should both return to the squad after shaking off their respective injuries.
The manager has also confirmed that he is likely to continue the policy of giving under 21 players the chance to be around the squad for Championship fixtures, to give them the best possible chance of making the step up to first team football.
"At one stage we had ten people out injured, but the lads in training have been relishing the opportunity to make the step up. Gozie Ugwu has been with the first team after returning from a loan spell at Shrewsbury and he’ll be involved with this weekend in the squad travelling up, along with Aaron Tshibola. It’s all part of their learning and development."