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Clarke: "Jem deserved his start"

13 April 2015

Manager on Karacan, Obita & Cox

Steve Clarke paid tribute to captain Jem Karacan following Saturday's goalless draw with Blackburn Rovers.

The manager granted the 26-year-old his first start in almost 18 months, and along with it the opportunity to lead out the Royals for the very first time.

"Jem has been working hard and he deserved his start in the team," said Clarke.

"I’ve got real strength in depth in the midfield areas and some of them will be getting frustrated that they’re not in the team, but like Jem showed today when you get the chance to play, if you play like that you’ll always be in my thoughts in future games. He's been fit for quite a long time and I felt today was a good day for him. A good cause, a good project he was involved in and it was nice to give him a start today."

The manager also explained the absences of Jordan Obita and Simon Cox from his matchday squad for the weekend's clash.

"Jordan was rested because he was on nine yellows. If he would have picked up a booking today he would have missed the next two games. Nathan Ake's got the kind of talent that means he can play anywhere. Simon was originally not in the squad, but he came in this morning and was injured and couldn't train anyway."

Read more tomorrow on, as Clarke discusses the prospect of facing table topping Bournemouth on Tuesday evening.

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