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Clarke on Blackpool test

7 April 2015

Boss aims to attack 'mini-season'

As the Royals prepare for a lengthy trip to face Blackpool on Tuesday evening, manager Steve Clarke has called for his squad to treat their Sky Bet Championship run in as a season within a season.

The Tangerines had their relegation to the third tier confirmed on Monday after Rotherham’s 1-0 win over Brighton, but Reading’s boss won’t be letting his focus waver.

“There’s a little bit of me now that doesn’t want to talk about getting to safety. I want to reach a comfortable points tally in the table, we spoke before the last game about there being eight games left and a mini season for us so lets see how many points we can pick up between now and the then,” he told BBC Radio Berkshire.

“There was a big feeling of disappointment in the dressing room after Saturday’s game, but sometimes these last minute goals happen in football.”

Not for the first time during the current campaign, the subject of playing surfaces has been raised, with Blackpool Chairman Carl Oyston admitting himself earlier this year that the Bloomfield Road surface was a ‘shambles’. As ever, Clarke is not flustered.

“We go up there and know the pitch isn’t very good, but we know that our pitch on Saturday wasn’t very good either. We’ve had a bit of practice playing on poorer pitches this year, so we will go up there and pick a team that can get us a result.”

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