Manager looks on to Sunday's clash at Madejski StadiumThe Royals face Leeds United in the first home fixture of 2015-16 at Madejski Stadium on Sunday, and manager Steve Clarke is confident that more good performances will ultimately be merited with the rewards they deserve.
Reading could count themselves unlucky to leave St Andrew’s empty-handed last weekend after conceding a goal to a heavy deflection, hitting the woodwork three times, having a perfectly good goal disallowed and seeing a final-minute penalty saved. But he knows that if they can maintain and improve the standards they have set in the opening week, the results will fall the right way more often than not.
“The level of performance has been pleasing, but I’m not pleased that we let the Birmingham game get away from us,” said Clarke. “As a team we have to be more resolute and make sure that from those games where we play well, we get something from the game. Away from home even a point would be good and we’re trying to instil the mentality into the players that when they play these matches, we have to get something from the game.
“If your team is playing well, it’s unusual that you can go week to week saying ‘we were unlucky’ – anybody who does that is probably a bit blinkered, because if you’re losing a lot of matches it is normally because you’re not playing well.
“So if we can keep the level of performance where we’re at, and improve on it, that’s the most important thing. We aren’t going to settle on the level of performance we’ve had this week – we want to use that as a base and say ‘let’s get better’. We’re trying to improve game to game, and I think the longer the squad is together, we’ll only improve.”
Uwe Rösler’s men were unceremoniously dumped out of the Capital One Cup on Thursday evening, as Yorkshire rivals Doncaster Rovers won a shoot-out after a 1-1 draw at the Keepmoat Stadium.
And while the Whites haven’t had a perfect start to the campaign, he is anticipating hosting a team that will still have the fresh optimism that comes with a new season.
“It’ll be a tough game – Leeds have got some good players, and everyone at this stage in the season is fresh and believing they are going to have a good season,” Clarke continued.
“So they are going to come here with a lot of confidence and believing they can get a result like they did last year. But we also feel the same – we feel that we have had a decent week, and we were disappointed not to get anything out of the Birmingham game. I’m pleased with the progress in the Capital One Cup, and now we’re looking forward to our first home game.”